10 Days Without Legs
Sunday, I spent the day in a wheelchair with my 2-year old son Noah sitting on my lap. I kept hearing, “Can I ride with you?” and “Faster Daddy, Faster!” Every once in a while I would look up and the wheelchair would be missing altogether, and from another room I’d hear his voice asking, “Daddy, can you push me?” It was quite humorous.
You definitely can’t characterize my first day as one of smoothness. In fact, I was quite clumsy as I navigated grabbing drinks from the kitchen and going to the bathroom. One of the harder things to get used to with a wheelchair is the front-end clearance. Normally when someone approaches the refrigerator to look inside, they walk up, open up the door, and lean in to view the options. Get that same person to roll up to a refrigerator in a wheelchair, and it’s an entirely different experience.
Instead of approaching the door straight on, I had to come from the side. With a semi-quick front — back — front — back maneuver, I was able to open the door and look in. Unfortunately, the ginger ale I needed was on the bottom shelf and in the very back, so I decided that I wanted water more than soda. See, already being in a wheelchair has made me a healthier guy!
I just can’t imagine what people do without wheelchairs. In many countries such as China, Cuba, Romania, Ghana, Thailand, and India there are lots of people affected by disabilities without access to wheelchairs. As a result, many of those same people are isolated from their lack of mobility. They are unable to get involved with their local community, and many of them miss out entirely on the local church.
Try to experience a glimpse of what they deal with: walk through every room in your house or down to the lobby of your dorm only using your arms. Seriously, try it and see how hard it would be to have lost the use of your legs and not have a wheelchair. It’s easy to see how people affected by mobile disabilities in communities without convenient transportation are living in isolation.
That’s why Wheels for the World is so cool, because it reaches into countries like the one’s mentioned above and provides FREE chairs for those in need. One of the stats they point out is that wheelchairs in many of these countries cost the same amount as a year’s wages. No wonder people can’t afford them! That would be like one of us buying a basic wheelchair for $41, 673.83.*
Did you try to put pants on yesterday without using your legs? If so comment about it below. And if not, well there’s always today! Maybe you could do the pant thing, and then walk around your house on your arms at the same time?
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