At Free Wheelchair Mission, we always say the gift of one wheelchair can improve many lives. This is partly because families work as a unit.  In developing countries, if one family member can’t work due to a disability, another family member usually has to stay home to care for them. Immediately, two possible sources of income are lost.  On the upside, when a wheelchair does reach a family, more lives are impacted beyond just the recipient’s. This was the case for the Hong family in this week’s story.

Luong Tan Thanh was housebound and would cry from frustration and loneliness—he wanted to be able to go outside to enjoy the sunshine and fresh air. That is until our partner, Giving It Back to Kids brought him his very own GEN_2 wheelchair. But even with the new wheelchair, his wife had to push him more than 20 feet down a slope to get him outside. This tiring routine was difficult for her and dangerous for Thanh. So GIBTK went the extra mile and installed a wheelchair ramp to make it easier for him to go outdoors! Thanh’s wife’s thank you note below explains how happy she is with Thanh’s new wheelchair and the new ramp from GIBTK:

Thanks to the wheelchair and ramps, every day, I can push my husband to the yard.  Then he uses his hands to push the wheelchair.  He can move 100 METERS HIMSELF with the wheelchair!  It is really incredible!  He can walk 3 to 5 steps by leaning on the chair while I stand behind him (to avoid accidents).  Thanh used to cry often but now he enjoys sunshine and blue skies, fresh air and being social again!  The wheelchair and ramps have really transformed our lives.

What this note tells me is that one wheelchair and ramp immediately improved two lives. But I know that is just a starting point. Now Thanh can participate in family outings and be a part of his community once again.

THANK YOU from all of our wheelchair recipients ― and from all of us here at Free Wheelchair Mission.

Don Schoendorfer


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