Following a brief encounter with young Marshall Janson - the exceptionally courageous quadruple amputee who was violently struck down with Meningococcal Meningitis, aged just one year - Freemason Mike Trevorrow from Penwith Lodge No. 8538 in West Cornwall, made it his ambition over a 12-month period to organise a fund-raising campaign with the support of fellow Lodge members
Marshall had just celebrated his first birthday on the 22nd December, 2008. A few days later on Boxing Day morning, Marshall was rushed into hospital following an attack of the brutal, unforgiving disease, Meningococcal Meningitis. While Marshall thankfully escaped brain damage, regretfully, due to the devastating effects of the disease, he had to have both his hands and both his legs amputated. Marshall is now facing a lifetime of rehabilitation while adapting to the use of prosthetic limbs.
Because Marshall is so young he will continually require new prosthetic limbs as he grows. He will however, celebrate his 10th birthday in a few months. To put this into perspective, Marshall will require at least one pair of hands per year, and then every year until he is 18. Marshall's first legs cost £9,727 each and his first hands cost £14,172 each. As Marshall continues to grow, and as the functionality required from his prosthetic limbs increases, so too will the costs. Those costs will easily escalate upwards of £850,000 - £950,000.
Mike has dedicated the last 12 months of his Masonic career by visiting the local Lodges from Penzance to Perranporth. During the business agenda of the Lodge meetings he’s visited, he has been allowed to address the brethren and inform those present of his aims and ambitions in support of young Marshall.
Mike Trevorrow said: ‘I was so upset hearing about Marshall’s plight that I had to do something to help this incredible young lad. It really touched me and I simply couldn’t imagine for one minute how he and his family cope each day. Right away I knew I could do something to assist, especially with the support of my fellow brethren, so I set out with a goal to try and raise £1000.
'The support I have received has seriously moved me to tears. Each Lodge has its own special charities they nominate and fund raise for throughout their calendar year, and yet every single Lodge I’ve attended without hesitation have helped boost my fund. It was only recently as the 12 months drew to a close was I given the final figure raised, by my Lodge Charity Steward. I’m absolutely delighted to report but virtually lost for words at the same time to announce we’ve raised the unbelievable sum of £2,000. I simply cannot thank everyone enough for all they have done in supporting Marshall and myself.'
A presentation was arranged at the Masonic Centre in Perranporth for Mike Trevorrow and representatives of all the Lodges who donated funds to assist in helping to present the money raised to young Marshall Janson and his father Moss.
Fellow Freemason Martin Brockman said: ‘Mike made it his goal to set out and fund raise for Marshall and he’s delivered in true style, we are so proud of him and in awe of his determination. Today was such a privilege for all those who attended todays presentation as Marshall is such an incredible inspiration for everyone. I could never imagine how anyone could cope with the life altering changes that he has had to deal with. To meet Marshall and watch him adapt to daily life and the surroundings of a Lodge room here today, is amazing.'
Marshall didn’t need any prompting from his father Moss, as he proudly sat in the Worshipful Masters chair in the Lodge room, he turned and said to Mike: ‘Thank you for all you have done to help me, you are so kind.'
The cost of providing Marshall with a decent quality of life is quite breathtaking - and beyond the resources of Marshall’s family or, indeed, most families. It is because of the huge cost involved that the family have launched ‘HANDSTAND -The Appeal for Marshall Janson’.
For more information on the HANDSTAND Appeal and to donate, please click here.