Earlier this spring, a team embarked on a vision trip to Kenya to distribute wheelchairs with our local partner, the Walkabout Foundation.

Over the course of three days, they gave away 53 new wheelchairs to people with disabilities, including a young man named Eugene who was carried to a distribution event by his mother.

Eugene has cerebral palsy. He cannot sit upright without assistance because of spastic muscle movement, but w​​​​​henever he was laid down, he seemed very uncomfortable and would cry.

Only when he was sitting up, held tightly by his mother to keep him from falling and getting hurt, would the crying stop.

His mother would hold onto Eugene constantly throughout the day, whether she was carrying him or helping him sit up. She looked exhausted.

But everything was about to change for Eugene and his mother.

“The first time he was put into his new wheelchair,” recalls vision trip team member Rick Carson, “he calmed down and actually sat still.”

Eugene finds joy and freedom from discomfort as he sits in his first wheelchair.

The Walkabout team adjusted the wheelchair and fitted it with a lap belt and customized head rest for his safety and comfort.

“The wheelchair brought him so much joy!” said Monica Finifrock, our foundations and grants manager who lead the vision trip and is also a nurse. “Not only is he more comfortable, but his mom is now able to go about and do her tasks without having to hold onto Eugene constantly.”

“[Eugene’s] demeanor was the biggest change I saw on this trip,” reflected Rick. “The peace and happiness I could see in his face is something I will probably never forget.”

The prayers and generosity of friends like you is transforming the lives of families, like Eugene’s all across the world.