Poet John Donne said, ‘No man is an island.’  No one knows this better than Kennedy Ngandu, a farmer in rural Zambia.  When Kennedy reached his mid-70s, his legs began to fail him.  This frightened him for more than one reason.  He was worried about losing the freedom mobility offers, and as a farmer, he needed mobility to maintain his livelihood.

At the local clinic, Kennedy learned he might be suffering from Kaposi Sarcoma, an AIDS-related cancer.  Suddenly, he needed help to go even a few steps and over time, the leg paralysis worsened until he became bedridden.

When you stop walking, that is when you appreciate the work of the legs so much.  When you are in bed for 24 hours, it is not an easy matter.  Sometimes I cried because there was no one to take me outside. My wife was unable to lift me and my adult sons were busy with their own families and daily obligations. Depending on others to move made life unbearable.


Kennedy’s sorrow lightened when he was given his very own FWM GEN_1 wheelchair.  His renewed ability to go outdoors on his own lifted his spirits. Although he still struggles with poverty and leg pain, he feels a renewed joy in life. For Kennedy, mobility means self-sufficiency and dignity. His wheelchair lets him interact with his grandchildren and other relatives without feeling like a burden.  He is happy in their presence once again.

Thank you for your help in easing the cares of recipients like Kennedy.  The elderly have a wealth of experience to share and mobility allows them to spend time with their families and those they care for most.  Your support and generosity makes a world of difference in the lives of wheelchair recipients throughout the developing world.


Don Schoendorfer


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