Last month I was fortunate enough to run the “Surf City” half marathon in Huntington Beach California. The goal, beyond reaching the finish line in one piece, was to raise money and awareness for the Irvine-based Free Wheelchair Mission charity.
Developing nations with poverty and economic isolation have an estimated 100 million people who need wheelchairs…yet cannot afford one. Unfortunately, these people are suffering from not only the inconvenience and pain associated with their disability, but exclusion and indignity of complete imobility, relying on others for most of their needs. As stated on the Free Wheelchair Mission’s Web site, “Some are forced to crawl on the ground or wait to be carried by loved ones to reach their most basic of needs. They are subjected to danger and disease. Many succumb to hopelessness. Safety nets are few, and available social services are scarce. Families strain to care for their disabled loved one within an already overburdened existence.”
A wheel chair quite simply changes a life forever. And not just the life of the user as its estimated that 10 other people, family members, care givers etc.. are positively impacted when a chair is delivered.
Thanks to many wonderful folks in our circle of friends and family we were able to raise enough money to buy 130 chairs this year, impacting up to 1300 people in a tangible, life changing way a half a world a way.
I hope you can come run with us next year in beautiful Surf City USA! Would love to see you here.