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Wheelchair for Rumpa

Many times, no matter where you live, sadness is a part of our life. The loss of a loved one is especially hard. This year I was given a special wheelchair to take with me to Calcutta from a mom, Kathy Madden, who had lost a very special daughter, Cheryl, to a form of muscular dystrophy at the age of twenty-six. It was very hard for Kathy to give up the wheelchair because Cheryl had used it for so many years. It had become a part of her life helping her daughter. When I called Kathy to talk about the wheelchair and how we could best put it back in service to help someone, I told Kathy I did not know anyone at that moment that needed a wheelchair, but I gave her my word I would find someone in need for it and that person would be very special. With that, Kathy gave me the wheelchair. I know she was sad to let it go, as it was part of her daughterís life with her.

After getting the wheelchair delivered to my home by Mindy Benson, Cherylís physical therapist, I oiled up the wheels and even shinned the wheelchair up to look new. I contacted a special friend in Calcutta, Dr Dadina, who had previously helped me with two childrenís operations, Samita who had a clef lip, and Dasi who had a crossed eye. Dr Dadina said she could help me find a child in need for the wheelchair and to bring it with me on my trip. I contacted British Airlines to arrange for extra luggage charges for the wheelchair to travel with me to Calcutta. The cost would be $140. As I have always said, God helps me with my trips to help the children -- it turned out that British Airlines waived the $140 fee when I arrived at the airport and told them what the wheelchair was for. When I arrived in India, Customs let everything enter the country, including the wheelchair, as duty free and I left the airport via the green door. As you can see, everything worked out perfectly.

I met Dr. Dadina within the first week of my trip. She picked me up at the Xavier home and we loaded the wheelchair into the back of her car. I did not know where we were gong at the time, but Dr Dadina said it was very special and that the wheelchair would be very much appreciated by somebody. Within a half an hour ride, we arrived at the Indian Institute of Cerebral Palsy. I met Sudha Kaul the Executive Director and Tessa Hamblin, Director of Rehabilitation. We sat and had tea and talked about the Institute of Cerebral Palsy, how it started, and the work that is done each day to help the children. After our short meeting it was time to bring the wheelchair to a very special person. The little girlís name is Rumpa and she is eleven years old. Rumpa has Cerebral Palsy (spastic quadriplegia) and comes from a very poor family. Rumpa will now be in Cherylís wheelchair many hours of the day. The little girl was so happy and excited when she received the wheelchair. I had tears in my eyes seeing her. In the end, I was very happy with the outcome of the wheelchair. It went to a great place and to a beautiful child in need, but I remembered the loss of Cheryl back in America and her mother, Kathy, missing her, which made me sad. When I returned to America, I gave Kathy all the paperwork and photos regarding the wheelchair. I know she was happy that Cherylís wheelchair now lives on with Rumpa in Calcutta. Kathy herself told me that Cheryl would be very proud of that. A picture of Rumpa is below.

I would like to say a special Thank You to Kathy for the gift of Cherylís wheelchair.



Children are Angels from Heaven
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