Martin is 20 years old and has spent all his life lying flat in bed due to a severe case of Cerebral Palsy.
His parents are very poor and rent an unfinished house in a small Mexican fishing village where there are no social services for which Martin qualifies.
Without enough money or insurance for physical therapy or special equipment, Martin lays in bed all day long because his legs have atrophied against his body so he can’t sit up.
A friend of the family, Alvaro Rene Garcia Martinez, asked his friend and lakeside resident Anne Drake if there was any way she could help. Drake used the do-it-yourself fundraising website GoFundMe to accept donations and set a goal, not only to buy a wheelchair but hopefully a hospital bed and a light for the dark bathroom too.
Martin’s plight was then brought to the attention of Bob Foster, a volunteer with World Access Project (WAP), a non-profit organization based in Mexico City that donates used, refurbished wheelchairs, crutches, walkers, canes and other mobility equipment to impoverished people with disabilities throughout Mexico who otherwise would not be able to afford them.
Foster contacted Richard St.Denis, founder of WAP, and explained Martin’s plight. He agreed to adapt a regular wheelchair with padding and reclining ability and a headrest, as well as heavy-duty wheels. On April 14 in Guadalajara, St.Denis delivered the state-of-the-art wheelchair to a super-excited Martin and his family. Two WAP technicians made adjustments so it would fit his body and be comfortable.
Now Martin is not just watching his family from afar, but sitting in the midst of their activities in his special wheelchair and finally going outside for fresh air. Since the chair was donated, the money collected was used to buy a hospital bed, build a sturdy ramp, install a light in the bathroom and several miscellaneous items. Next on the wish list is a hot water system for the bathroom so Martin doesn’t have to bathe in buckets of cold water any more. To make a donation, visit A Wheelchair for Martin by Anne Drake – GoFundMe, or www.gofundme.com/lfpfm4.