My first encounter with the Cumberland Shrine Club was when I was less than 10 days old, says Tipton. “I sustained a shoulder injury during birth including a broken collarbone, and substantial nerve damage resulting in the inability to use my right arm very much as a child. My mother and I were taken by Shrine Escort to the Lexington, Kentucky Shriner’s Hospital for children where I received treatment, and made an annual visit back each year thereafter for about the first 8 years of my life.
My mom still jokes to this day that she had to quit taking me there because I refused to admit that anything was actually wrong with me. I hated people feeling sorry for me. Although I did have some physical limitations, I felt like that should not define who I was. By visiting the Shriner’s Hospital each year, I learned very early on that there is always someone out there in worse shape than I am, and that I should really count my blessings, and try to help those less fortunate. I saw my problem as minuscule compared to these children who couldn’t walk or were missing limbs. It also instilled in me this need to help. I was many times grouped with children in my younger years who had physical disabilities, however would quickly be promoted out of those groups because all I wanted to do was to try and help care for them.
In many ways I believe that these experiences are what sent me towards my passion in life–caring for others– from age 18 to 26, and ultimately, opening Grace Givers Home Care just shy of my 27th birthday.
I want to say thank you so much for the love, acceptance, friendship, and encouragement of all the current Nobles at the Cumberland Shrine Club, and thanks to all those past members who helped to send this Shrine Kid off to Lexington all those years ago. These men truly are making a difference in the lives of children all over the world, and I was honored to be able to share my story and say thank you!!