Thanks somuch to our founder and president, Don Schoendorfer, for bringing back this inspirationalstory from his recent travels to Zambia!
Last month, I traveled to Zambiawith World Vision and three doctoral candidates enrolled in Azusa Pacific University’s physicaltherapy program. We delivered the first 500 of the 6,000 wheelchairs we plan todistribute over the next year in collaboration with World Vision, and developedadditional video materials and training manuals for the GEN_2. While there, we met a very special littlegirl:
Beauty is her name. She is five years old. She liveswith her grandmother in the tiny village of Mwachiele. In addition to malnutrition and possiblyother developmental disabilities, Beauty suffers from club feet. She walks on the sides of her ankles, andwith each step, flashes of pain shoot across her face. Her grandmother has carried her everywhere,taking her to a World Vision clinic about twice a month. The possibility of getting Beauty to schooleach day has been out of the question.
Beauty weighs 25 pounds, which is small for mostwheelchairs; however, with some simple modifications, she was very comfortablein her new GEN_2. Her mother told usthat she was intensely shy and having a dozen strangers visiting did nothelp. We wanted to take Beauty’sphotograph in her brand new wheelchair, but the best images we could get wereof her big brown eyes. She lookedsomber, but her mother recognized gladly that a world of opportunities wasopening up for her daughter in the gift of a wheelchair.
“Beauty has had little ability to be part of the communityor participate in any events,” she said. “Now my daughter will finally get a chance.”