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george

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FREE WHEELCHAIR MISSION
April 7, 2011

I am an occupational therapist and have worked with people with disabilities at a rehab hospital 35 years. I have been involved with the FWM since 2005, heading up a fund raising group called, Idaho Believes. I've also had the opportunity to travel twice to Uganda, with my wife, and another couple, to follow a container of wc's around the country. We went with our cameras so we could bring back to Idaho video of people crawling, people being lifted into their wc's and the transformation that takes place. I am so totally sold on this project and the overwhelming need to get people off the ground. Sometime ago I had a patient at the hospital with a spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed from the chest down. He left the hospital, after 2 months of rehab, with a manual wc, a power wc, a hospital bed, a mobil arm support, a commode/shower chair, a remodeled home, a caregiver and financial security. A few weeks later I was in Uganda watching people with similar injuries being lifted off the ground and put into their new $60.00 wc's. I don't need to tell you who was more greatful.
I have been very impressed with the design of the wc, rugged, maintainable and extremely cost effective. Almost every year something new is added: the covered cushion, adjustable footrest, harness . . . When Don Schoendorfer, the founder and president of the FWM, began work on the new wc, gen 2, he came to our rehab hospital and met with the therapist. He got input from wc experts who run the wc clinics. The new wc is amazingly adjustable.
I appreciated the study done at Azusa Pacific University, comparing the quality of life in FWM recipients before and after recieving wc's.
Recipents reported improvements socially, funtionally and with their health, including a decline in pressure sores.
Don Schoendorfer understands the overwhelming need of the disabled in the 3rd world and has a great solution.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Trips to Uganda, seeing the need and the transformation of people receiving their wc's

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

work on ways to send more Americans out to help with wc distributions

MY ROLE:
Professional with expertise in this field & I help with presentations and go on distributionsg.

Review from Guidestar