The story of brothers Mose and Garrison Siskin is told in local author Barry Parker’s most recent book, “Men of Steel, Hearts of Gold: The Life and Legacy of Mose and Garrison Siskin” and is now for sale to the community.
"Men of Steel, Hearts of Gold” recounts how two sons of immigrant parents rose from modest circumstances to become successful entrepreneurs and ground-breaking humanitarians. Today, their legacy lives on through the services offered at Siskin Children's Institute and the Siskin Hospital for Physical Rehabilitation.
More than a half century ago, the two Chattanooga businessmen devoted their lives to serving their community and reaching out to people with disabilities. In 1942, Garrison Siskin sustained a life-threatening injury, and surgeons told him that his leg would have to be amputated. He prayed to God that if his leg were spared, he would dedicate the rest of his life to helping others. His plea was answered, and he made a full recovery.
When Mose learned of the vow, he told his brother, "If it's your promise, it's my promise, and we will keep it together." They established the Siskin Foundation in 1950; and nine years later, they opened a rehabilitation center, what is now the Siskin Hospital for Physical Rehabilitation, to provide outpatient services, including physical therapy, speech and language therapy, and even free dental care.
A highlight of the facility was a preschool for young children with physical disabilities and developmental delays. Long before laws were passed to guarantee that children with disabilities had the right to an education, Mose and Garrison Siskin developed programs that offered opportunities for schooling to children with special needs.
Today, the brothers’ commitment to helping children with disabilities continues at Siskin Children's Institute, which is dedicated to making life better for children with special needs and their families.
“’Men of Steel, Hearts of Gold’ reminds us what can be accomplished when two determined men set about to make the world a better place, and pursue their goal with a loving, single-minded devotion,” Mr. Parker writes.
The book is available for purchase for $34.95 on the Institute’s website at www.siskin.org/menofsteel or call 648-1730.