Last year, when I traveled to Peru with a film crew from The Visionaries, we were introduced to a young woman named Maleny.

Maleny, 26, loves children.

She had been working at her dream job, teaching 1st through 6th graders at an elementary school in Lima, when a mysterious, agonizing pain seized her body.

Unable to walk or move due to the excruciating pain, Maleny resigned from her job and underwent a battery of medical tests. She was diagnosed with severe arteriovenous malformation, a condition in which irregular connections between the arteries and veins around her spinal cord cause damage, hindering proper blood flow to her spinal cord.

Doctors gave her little hope of recovery, but Maleny remained undaunted. She fully committed to her therapy, optimistic that she could overcome this.

Maleny, who lives with her mother and grandfather, could only leave the house to go to her medical appointments, using a pair of crutches to make her way to the hospital. The pain made it too difficult for her to go anywhere else without a wheelchair of her own.

When our local distribution partner fitted Maleny with a GEN_3 wheelchair, it gave her more than just mobility: it offered her a measure of relief and a renewed sense of hope.

Not only would this newfound mobility allow Maleny to get to her therapy appointments more easily, it would give her an independence she hadn’t had in over a year.

As she faithfully continues with her treatments, Maleny is hopeful as ever that she will one day return to teaching, whether by walking or by wheelchair.

Thank you for all you do to help friends like Maleny.


Don Schoendorfer