Here is your Monday Recap for this week–the story of a great kid from the Philippines, Mario!

Greetings and happy Friday Monday!

This week our Friday Story comes from Operation Blessing in the Philippines. I’d like to introduce you to a bright young man named Mario—

Mario was born without any lower legs due a congenital disorder. When he was old enough to go to school, his mother had to carry him there before going to work. This became increasingly difficult to do as he grew. Even his school bag became heavier with each year. Nonetheless, his mother persevered — her son’s education was important to her. Mario is intrigued with computers, playing games with his friends and keeping in touch with some of his older siblings using the internet. He wants to be a computer engineer when he grows up because, he explains, “you don’t have to get off your seat to be one.” People around him are quick to point out that even though he has no lower legs, he never sits still. “He plays basketball,” they boast, “he can even swim.”

When Mario arrived at Operation Blessing’s wheelchair distribution site, he realized he wouldn’t be the only wheelchair recipient. There were several wheelchairs from Free Wheelchair Mission lined up in a row, some already with occupants. He watched with mounting excitement as a wheelchair was wheeled towards him. Then a big man, a local volunteer, picked him up and placed him on it. It felt good. He tested the wheels, moved back and forth a little, and then smiled. “Now I will be able to feed our chickens by myself,” he said. “I’ll be able to help my parents do our chores.”

I love to see the excitement when kids like Mario receive their new wheelchair. Even though just moving about was tough for him before, as soon as he received his wheelchair he was already thinking of how he could help others. With the ability to go to school and learn, he can chase his passion for computers and his dream of being a computer engineer. You have made that possible. On behalf of Mario and the more than 645,000 wheelchair recipients around the world: thank you.


Don Schoendorfer


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