Friday Story: Blessings for a Mother

Greetings , and Happy Friday!

In the developing world, healthcare is not easily accessible and poverty limits treatment even when it is available. The same was true for Erlinda in this week’s Friday Story:

Erlinda is 77 years old and has a wonderfully large family. She lives with her husband and two of her adult children. Over the years, she has developed osteoporosis, causing her great pain and has immobility. On most days Erlinda is bed ridden.

Her husband is her primary caregiver and her children help out as often as they can, but a wheelchair was outside the means of what the family could afford. Thanks to one of our distribution partners in Nicaragua, Erlinda was given her very own GEN_1 wheelchair!

Now Erlinda can help around the house with cooking and light cleaning. “I give thanks to God who has blessed me with this gift. May God bless you and your beautiful work.”

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Thank you for giving Erlinda a second chance; her rediscovered mobility is because of generous supporters like YOU.

Blessings,

Don Schoendorfer

Friday Story: A Bright Future

Greetings , and Happy Friday!

Many of our recipients would love to help their families, but because of a lack of mobility, they are confined to their homes. This week, I wanted to share with you a story from China, and how a woman with determination and the gift of mobility was able to help her family.

As a young child, Wang suffered from polio, leaving her unable to walk. Her family struggled to make ends meet, but that didn’t keep her from dreaming of one day owning her own wheelchair.

Wang didn’t want to be a burden to her family any longer, so when she was 28 she contacted Henan’s Disabled Person’s Federation (HDPF) and asked them if there was anything she could do to learn a skill. They offered to send her to school to become a hairdresser and she graciously accepted the opportunity. During the six month training, HDPF gave Wang her very own GEN_2 wheelchair!

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Now she is able to go to and from school and work with ease! She is excited for her future and the opportunities that are now provided to her because of her education and her wheelchair. She will be able to get a job, she can help her family…and no longer feels like a burden.

Thank you for helping recipients like Wang receive the gift of mobility, and for believing as we do that no one should have to crawl.

Blessings,

Don Schoendorfer

Friday Story: One Wheelchair – Two Lives

Greetings , and Happy Friday!

The gift of a wheelchair provides an instant transformation for our recipients and often their families, friends and communities. Today, I want to share with you a story of a mother whose life was immediately changed because of her daughter’s gift of mobility:

Mrs. Nkomo arrived at the wheelchair provisioning site looking weary. Strapped to her back with a towel was her 13 year old daughter, Hope. Mrs. Nkomo he had walked approximately 9 miles from Old Pumula, Zimbabwe. Filling out the paperwork for her daughter’s wheelchair, she explained that Hope had suffered from meningitis when she was a toddler and has never regained her ability to walk or speak.

Mrs. Nkomo’s eyes filled with tears as Hope was placed in her very own GEN_2 wheelchair. She turned to our partner and said, “You do not realize the burden that you have lifted from me today. I have carried this child everywhere for 13 years. May God bless you for giving my family this wonderful gift.”

Hope-photo

This simple gift of a wheelchair changed two livesthank you for your help and for transforming lives through the gift of mobility.

Blessings,

Don Schoendorfer

Friday Story: Above and Beyond for Mobility

Greetings , and Happy Friday!

To provide the gift of mobility, Free Wheelchair Mission partners with hard working, in-country organizations who help coordinate the wheelchair distributions. They do amazing work and we are grateful for their partnership. This week I wanted to share with you how one of our distribution partners in Nicaragua went above and beyond the call of duty to help transform the life of a little boy named Maykel.

At nine years old, Maykel was out playing with friends and fell into a cistern—he was unable to move and desperately tried to get the attention of his friends or an individual passing by, but no one heard him. Sadly, he was forced to spend the night in the cistern and wasn’t found by his family until the following morning. Fearful, Maykel’s family rushed him to the hospital, but they were told that he had broken his back and he needed surgery that would cost them nearly $10,000—a cost far too steep for his family to afford. Instead, Maykel was sent home where his back healed improperly, causing nerve damage that left him unable to walk, and primarily bed ridden.

Three years later our distribution partner, Christian Aid Ministries, was introduced to Maykel and were excited to help him. They took Maykel to another doctor to evaluate him for surgery and to determine his potential to walk again. Unfortunately, it was too late – surgery could not help him walk, but they were able to provide him with his very own GEN_2 wheelchair! So instead of being trapped in bed, he is able to go to school and get around his neighborhood. Maykel and his family have been extremely grateful for his gift of mobility and for the present and constant support of our partner in the field who have continued to help them however they can.

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Maykel was able to get out of bed because of your generosity and our partner’s consistent dedication to providing the gift of mobility! Thank you for your help and for believing, as we do, that no one should have to crawl.

Blessings,

Don Schoendorfer

Team Mobility: Run for Mobility 2015

Thank you to all of you who joined us in Huntington Beach for the 10th Annual Run for Mobility! We had a blast and loved seeing all the runners, volunteers and supporters out there having a good time too.

We had 105 runners this year (including one staff member that braved the half marathon!) and they helped us raise $75,000!!! That means we were able to transform 962 lives! 962 lives!!!!

We just had to share some of our favorite photos from The Surf City Marathon weekend. If you want to see more, you can find it on our Facebook page here.

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our staff being silly at the expo

Some of our awesome runners

our wheelchairs at the start line for the Marathon

Photo of the race (photo credit: Surf City Marathon) – just too cool not to share

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Thank you to all our amazing runners, volunteers, supporters and staff for helping making the Run for Mobility another amazing weekend!

If you are interested in getting more information or joining Team Mobility and making your miles matter, you can find more information here.

Friday Story: Fighting for His Dreams

Greetings , and Happy Friday!

I love to share about recipients who don’t let their lack of mobility discourage them from pursuing their goals. This week, meet Muhammad from Indonesia:

 When Muhammad was 15 years old he blacked out and fell face forward. When he woke up he was extremely weak in his arms and legs and lacked the strength to walk. After being rushed to the doctor, he found out he had damaged his spinal cord resulting in partial paralysis.Muhammad

Despite his physical struggles, Muhammad has been determined to work to care for himself. He had just enough strength in his legs to push himself backwards on a skateboard he used to get around. He used his limited mobility to get to and from his current job at his family’s motorcycle repair shop so he could help support his family. But it wasn’t easy.

Although Muhammad had his skateboard to get around, he wished for a wheelchair knowing it would be easier and quicker. When he was placed into his very own GEN_2 wheelchair he knew this would drastically change his daily life for the better – he gets around much easier and can even travel to visit friends and family.

Muhammad had a setback, but he didn’t let that affect him. The wheelchair only helped him continue to fight for his dreams. Thank you for providing that gift to those in need every week. You are providing a simple tool that can help in so many different ways.

Blessings,

Don Schoendorfer

Special Delivery Report: 1,100 Wheelchairs have Arrived!

Happy Thursday! 1,100 wheelchairs arrived this week: 550 in Columbia and 550 in Ecuador.