Milka, 19, lives with spastic cerebral palsy, which hinders her mobility.

Despite the challenges, Milka maintains a consistently cheerful disposition, often discussing her accomplishments, her knack for reading, and her deep love for her mother, Valeska.

A map of Guatemal next to a photo of Milka, a 19-year-old from Guatemala.

Valeska, a mother of four, proudly calls Milka her firstborn. Recounting their journey, Valeska shared, “Milka seemed healthy when she was born, but at the age of two, she was diagnosed with cerebral palsy that restricts her movement. Therapy would have been essential, but we didn’t have access to it. We did manage to enroll her in school, however, and there were years when I attended classes with her to facilitate her understanding and learning.”

Milka needed a wheelchair, but her family could not afford one. Her father once worked as a bus driver but lost his job. Her mother Valeska supports the family by selling fruit while her eldest son works as a bricklayer, and much of their modest earnings go toward paying the rent on their humble home.

Milka, a 19 year old woman, sits in her new blue wheelchair.

Milka (seated) and her mother (left) being trained on wheelchair use.

With these financial constraints, obtaining a wheelchair remained a distant dream—until our local distribution partner, the Order of Malta, stepped in and delivered a brand-new GEN_2 wheelchair to Milka.

After adjustments were made to the wheelchair for a proper fit, Milka and her mother received training on optimal wheelchair use and maintenance. Milka was so happy to have mobility that she implored her mother for a ride around the backyard. “Thank you!” she grinned as she took a joyride with her beloved mother pushing her.

In the face of adversity, Milka and her family have demonstrated unwavering resilience and determination. Their story is a testament to the power of love, resourcefulness, and the kindness of others.

As Milka now navigates the world with her new wheelchair, her infectious positivity continues to inspire everyone around her.

I hope that you sense her joy, too—a joy that friends like you are spreading around the world through your generosity, prayers, and support.