Eleven-year-old Arnold Andres loves his family: father Francisco, mother Tomasa, brothers Jose (17) and Kenneth (15), and sister Reyna (10).
They live in a simple wooden shack constructed along the banks of the river Aguazul in Honduras.
There aren’t supposed to be homes along the river, but Francisco and Tomasa cannot afford to rent a house, much less buy one. Francisco ekes out a living by picking recyclables out of the city dump.
Arnold is unable to walk, having been born with hydrocephalus and spina bifida. He does have strong upper-body strength and can move short distances on his own.
Reyna, the youngest child, serves as Arnold’s main caregiver. She bathes and dresses him, helps him move from his bed to a chair, and attends class with him at school—a lot of responsibility for a 10-year-old.
Their parents saw a used wheelchair at a flea market but couldn’t afford to buy it. Moved to help, their riverbank community rallied to hold a bake sale and raise the funds they needed. They bought Arnold the used wheelchair, but it was worn-out and did not fit him well, causing him pain and discomfort.
Our distribution partner, Food For The Poor, connected with the family and fitted Arnold with a new GEN_2 wheelchair. Distribution partners are trained to custom-fit each wheelchair to its user to prevent further health problems such as pressure sores.
Arnold was overjoyed—as was Reyna. “I’m happy because my brother has a new wheelchair,” she beamed. “The old one hurt his back. Now, he will be comfortable and safe.” Not only has Arnold gained new freedom and independence—so has his caregiver, Reyna.
Because of you, more than one million families, like Arnold’s, have been transformed by the gift of mobility. They know that they are not forgotten, but rather, that they are seen, known, and loved. Together, we can bless one million more.
“Thank you,” said Arnold’s mother, Tomasa. “You do a beautiful work of love because you help the most in need.”