Eva Maria’s Story

Eva Maria is a cheeky four-year-old girl who had never had a wheelchair before. She was pushed around in a stroller meant for children much younger than her, which gave her no independence and made her feel insecure around other children her age.

You can’t imagine how happy she was to see her first wheelchair – red is her favorite color! She wanted to help with all the adjustments and couldn’t wait to try it out on her own. As soon as we put her in, she immediately worked out how to use the brakes, took them off and started to push herself – all the way out of the fitting room and out the door of the centre. We had to call her back, as we hadn’t even started adjusting the chair!

Wheelchair fitting in the Dominican Republic

250 chairs to the Dominican Republic

Last week, Walkabout Foundation was in the Dominican Republic to distribute wheelchairs to those in need with the help of Fundacion Pide un Deseo (Santo Domingo), Mustard Seed (Puerto Plata), Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos (San Pedro de Macoris), Fundacion Mir and Hogar del Nino (both La Romana). Long-term supporters of us may remember that this entire trip came about when Laura Porcella Mayol, of Santo Domingo, raised funds to hold a wheelchair distribution in her country by running the New York Marathon in 2012. Months of training and work came down to last week in the Dominican Republic when Carolina, Maja, Stefanie and Bryony from London, England flew out to build, personalise and fit wheelchairs for those in need. For the first time ever, we also added ROC and Hope Haven paediatric chairs to our offerings, which proved hugely popular as the chairs provide so much more support for children in need.

We are hugely grateful to everyone who helped us along the way with this project. Special thanks obviously go to Laura for her sterling effort and amazing achievement in the NY marathon.


Christmas wheelchairs in the Dominican Republic

Walkabout Foundation partnered with FUNDACION PIDE UN DESEO to donate 100 wheelchairs in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic on December 22, 2010.

Carolina travelled to the country’s capital, accompanied by her parents Rolando and Monica, and brothers Diego and Matias, to personally deliver the wheelchairs.

FUNDACION PIDE UN DESEO, founded by Rosalia Caro, had previously identified the wheelchair recipients, which included children, teenagers, and adults. Among the recipients were people afflicted by paralysis, polio, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, and amputees.

Walkabout Foundation is incredibly grateful for the hard work and support of FUNDACION PIDE UN DESEO. These wheelchairs were truly a Christmas gift to the 100 people that received them.