A common sight in the highlands of Guatemala is mothers in traditional dress, carrying their infants or small toddlers on their backs, tied securely in colorful cloth.

This is how Gerber and his mother arrived at a wheelchair distribution earlier this spring. However, Gerber is no toddler—he is 17 years old.

A quadriplegic, Gerber traveled on his mother’s back for many hours, all the way from a rural mountain village to a hospital where a medical missions team had come to perform orthopedic surgeries and provide wheelchairs. The gift of mobility would be an answer to the prayers of so many families, like Gerber’s.

Because of his injury, Gerber could not sit upright without support, and his mother feared that he might not be able to use a wheelchair. However, the team was able to custom-fit a GEN_2 wheelchair to Gerber, adding a special seat and harness that would allow him to use it safely.

When Gerber’s mother lifted him into the wheelchair for a fitting, he broke into a huge grin. No words were needed to convey his joy—a contagious joy that spread to everyone around him.

Gerber’s mother told the team that it was truly life-changing for them both to receive this wheelchair after a lifetime of carrying him.

The gift of a wheelchair, made possible by friends like you, not only blessed Gerber and his mother, but also the volunteers whose lives were touched by their joy and love.

Thank you for all you do to impact lives around the world.