Beyond the Call of Duty
After 9/11, I found myself in a career search, which landed me working as a civilian contractor on a military base in Northern Iraq, City of Mosul.
We were working in an army supply warehouse providing the troops with the pieces and parts they needed to do their job. One of my friends on the base was an army battalion surgeon who had been going outside the wire helping children. He came back and told me about kids who can’t walk. They have no access to wheelchairs in the country in the middle of war. He asked me to help him find wheelchairs for the children he was helping. After putting in a request back to friends and family back home. We had 31 wheelchairs come over.
Help Children - And Troops
Helping children is something everyone wants to do. Helping troops is also something everyone wants to do. When you combine those two, it creates an exponential emotional return for the people helping.
Chairs to Live and Grow
These wheelchairs are more than just getting children from point A to point B. They actually live in these wheelchairs. They provide the proper positioning, the support and body posture that they will need to grow straight as they age and grow older.
There are no pediatric wheelchairs suppliers in the Middle East. Kids in the Middle East that have disabilities are left on the ground. Not necessarily because families want to leave them on the ground. It’s mainly because they don’t have a wheelchair for them. They can’t sit up by themselves so what do they to do? They lay down and kids that have laid down all their lives, five, 10, 12-years-old, their backbone fuses to their hips. They won’t go in a seated position. It locks their back to their hips and they are flat forward for the rest of their life.
1 in 7 Need Pediatric Wheelchairs Worldwide
I found a UNICEF 2007 study, which showed that one out of seven children, around 15% have disability, most of them have walking disabilities. That’s two and a quarter million disabled children in the country who need wheelchairs. I’m the only one who has a pediatric wheelchair that will work for them. There are wheelchair providers out there, providing adult wheelchairs and even smaller adult style wheelchairs for children, but not a pediatric wheelchair. UNICEF also says that of the general population of children in the world, that almost 20% of children, one out of five have disabilities. That could be blindness, it could be speech disabilities, other disabilities but almost all of those include a walking disability.
The need for children around the world is in the tens of millions. When I realized how many children in t