Greetings Kayleigh, and happy Friday!
For most of our recipients, an FWM wheelchair is the first wheelchair they have ever had. For many, a wheelchair from FWM is a dream come true since Western wheelchairs are not able to stand up to the rigors of an underdeveloped country. This week I’d like to share a story of one little girl and her perfect wheelchair:
After the danger of fires in San Luis Potosi, Mexico had passed our distribution partner, Operation Blessing, began disaster relief work in the area. They mostly provided food to the severely impacted and impoverished families. During a food distribution they met Mary: an eleven year old girl lives with her family who struggles to provide for even the most basic needs like food and shelter. The main source of employment is through farming- planting and harvesting sugarcane, but the destruction of the fire has left most of the crops incapable of producing a harvest, and has impacted work for Mary’s parents.
Mary’s health and her dependence on others throughout the day adds to the family’s burden. Mary has several health problems: Her bladder does not hold urine, and because the family was unable to treat her clubfeet when she was born, Mary now has limited mobility. The family has struggled greatly to obtain a wheelchair. After several attempts with health agencies in the region they were successful in their efforts to get Mary a wheelchair. Unfortunately the first chair she received was not conducive to the terrain in her hometown. Other wheelchairs she received were unable to be adjusted to fit Mary and later a fairly suitable chair was given on loan but then taken back for an unexplained reason. Mary and her family felt hopeless.
The day Operation Blessing met her, Mary’s family had a wheelchair that had been obtained locally, but Mary was able to receive a Free Wheelchair Mission wheelchair custom fit to her needs and built for the terrain in her hometown. She quickly realized that this wheelchair was different than the others she had struggled to use in the past. This wheelchair was able to easily navigate the rocky terrain surrounding her home. The wheels no longer locked up in the rocky dirt but rather her new GEN_2 wheelchair breezed over every bump, rock and divot, allowing her to freely roam around the yard of her house and explore the gift of mobility in a new way.
Mary is a beautiful example of the hope, joy, independence and dignity that can come from the simple and yet profound gift of mobility. The day Mary received her new wheelchair, a very excited and patient little girl met the perfect wheelchair! Thank you for giving her that gift!