Samuel (14, India) was a healthy child and lived like any other boy his age, playing with his friends and playing hide-and-seek in their dense, urban neighborhood.

But that all changed when he was in third grade.He was out with his mother, father, and sister when he started feeling very weak. His feet began twisting inwards, and he couldn’t get up by himself.

Alarmed, his parents rushed him to a hospital. Doctors could not determine the cause of his sudden disability and told them that Samuel’s rare condition might also affect his arms someday.

Devastated, his parents would take him to physical therapy in the hopes of reversing this condition, but Samuel still could not walk.

Samuel is an excellent student. Getting him to school has been a challenge, however. His parents couldn’t afford to buy him a wheelchair, so they’d either carry him or save up enough money to send him off on public transportation.

Our local distribution partner heard about Samuel and fitted him with a brand-new GEN_3 wheelchair. Now, his parents or sister can push him to school, and he can continue his studies.

Samuel and his family remain hopeful in the midst of the challenges they face. “God is the hope that we have,” said Samuel’s mother. “We hope that Samuel will stand again one day and glorify God for many more years.”

When we lift someone into a wheelchair for the first time, we want them to feel that they are in God’s hands and know that they are loved.

Thanks to friends like you, we have been able to give this gift to more than 1.2 million people with disabilities in 94 countries since 2001—but the needs are still great. An estimated 75 million people worldwide need a wheelchair but cannot get one on their own.

As we enter our 20th year, would you help spread the word and tell a friend about the work of Free Wheelchair Mission?

Together, our mission continues.