The Wheelchair Foundation is proud to announce a milestone achievement towards our goal of providing at least one million wheelchairs to adults, teens, and children around the world.
The 850,000th wheelchair recipient received her life-changing gift on March 16th, 2011 at our recent distribution in Costa Rica. Joining us on our mission were Rotarians from Rotary Club Districts 5220 and 5230, who graciously contributed their time and money to help make this landmark number a reality.
Our lucky recipient was an adorable four-year-old girl named Isabella. Isabella was born with myelomeningocele, a birth defect of the backbone and spinal canal. She and her twin brother have been living in foster care for three years with their adoptive mother, Charlotte. Charlotte is determined to adopt Isabella’s nine other siblings, all living in foster care, so the family can stay together.
Isabella, a bright, energetic girl, had been living without mobility and was dependent on her mother for almost every need. Like most children her age, she longed for the ability to play and move about on her own. Isabella’s dream came true as she was placed in her brand-new, shining red wheelchair. She immediately began moving around at the Rehab Center, wanting everyone to watch what she was able to do.
Bob Bitter of Madera Sunrise Rotary Club and Past District Governor of District 5220 describes the experience, saying, "To us, the most memorable moment of a wheelchair distribution is the hands-on ability to immediately change a person’s life for the better, and to experience the joy they feel with their newfound mobility.
We have helped people move themselves for the very first time, and witnessed the weight being lifted from their family members who were, until now, responsible for that person’s mobility."
Another Rotarian also commented that despite the fact that Costa Rica has one of the highest standards of living in Latin America, there is still a great need for wheelchairs. This need, however, is not exclusive to Costa Rica. There are thousands of children, just like Isabella, in countries around the world who are still awaiting the freedom and dignity a wheelchair can bring. Make a donation today and give a life-changing gift to a man, woman, or child desperate for mobility.