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Keeping the pace

Letter carrier beats the odds to walk

USPS employee
Elgin, IL, Letter Carrier Shawn Skau, who was born with clubbed feet, credits his postal job with helping him stay limber.

Walking for hours each day isn’t always easy, especially when doctors said you’d probably never walk at all.

Just ask Elgin, IL, Letter Carrier Shawn Skau, who was born with clubbed feet and spent the next 12 years undergoing surgeries at Shriners Hospital for Children in Chicago.

Skau never doubted his abilities and became a letter carrier in 1995 despite chronic pain in his feet.

He needed custom footwear early in his career, but now he wears regular boots with custom insoles.

“I’m not as fast a walker as the average person and I can’t run, but I’m consistent with my speed,” Skau said.

For his 50th birthday recently, Skau’s wife, Shelly, contacted Shriners to arrange a tour of the facility that changed his life. The Chicago Tribune covered the visit.

The letter carrier was then asked to speak before the hospital’s board of governors to share his experience growing up as a Shriners patient.

“I owe them the life I have,” Skau said.

He also credits the physical demands of his job with the Postal Service.

“The walking I do is keeping my feet strong and limber.”

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