Meet Miguel, a 22-year-old who lives with his sister and mother in Nicaragua. He was named in honor of his father, who supported the family as a farmer.
One afternoon, his mother Juana found little Miguel convulsing on the ground, suffering from a high fever. Overwhelmed with desperation, Juana picked him up and started walking for several hours, for there were no medical centers nearby. She finally came upon the only doctor in their remote community, who diagnosed Miguel with a brain injury caused by a high fever that was triggered by an infection.
To add to an already tragic situation, Miguel's beloved father passed away, leaving the family with no financial support. Juana took Miguel and his sister, Maria, to the city, where she makes a modest living selling enchiladas at a bus station.
Meanwhile, Miguel stayed home with his sister, hidden from public view out of fear and shame.
You see, Miguel’s older sister Maria (23) also lives with a disability. A tumor was found on her spine when she was an infant, causing severe injuries to her legs and leaving her without mobility.
For a family to have one child with a disability was seen by some in their community as a curse from God, so a family having two children with disabilities must be doubly cursed—which we know is not true, but is what some in their community believed.
Thus, Miguel would never leave the confines of their corrugated metal shack, kept out of sight due to the stigma surrounding disability. His big sister, Maria, would take care of him while their mother went off to work.
Our local distribution partner, Metanoia Missions, learned about Maria’s need for mobility and came to their home to assess her for a wheelchair. They were surprised to find Miguel there, too, and quickly realized that he would also benefit from one of our wheelchairs.
Because of friends like you, both Maria and Miguel received new wheelchairs that day!
With mobility, Maria dreams of getting married, having her own family, and “being an independent woman” who can earn an income to help her younger brother and their mother. “My mother has been an angel throughout my life,” said a grateful Maria, who now uses her wheelchair to sell fruit outside of their home.
We are grateful to our distribution partners—and to you, our friends and supporters—for all you do in partnership with Free Wheelchair Mission.