Sunday, November 18, 2012


   In August we visited with the Marikina Vice-Mayor and scheduled a wheelchair training with the health care workers in his city.
  Marikina is the shoe capitol of the world. Every kind, size and style of shoe is made here. When Imelda Marcos and her husband were in power, she was known for the 5000 plus shoes she had purchased all over the world. After she and her husband where taken out of power, all of those shoes where found. Interestingly, a great many of them were made right here in Marikina.
  We had worked with very few cities directly because of the great temptation of the mayor or vice-mayor to use such an event for political gain. We proceeded with much care to avoid such a problem and we seem to have pulled it off.
Marikina is one of 16 cities that make up Metro Manila and is very close to our office. It was convenient to get all of our instructors and teaching aids there with little effort.
This is Vice Mayor Cadiz. He is very fun and outgoing. He is the one that sang to us when we first met him. Here we are assessing him for a wheelchair to show how we are teaching the health care workers. He really enjoyed the training and knew of the help that it would be to disabled persons in his city. At the conclusion of the training, he sang - to me! Wow was that uncomfortable. But we took it in stride and had fun with it.
We incorporated an intermediate assessment with this training. These are for children that have cerebral palsy and can not be fitted in a regular wheelchair. We had not done this before, but it was so successful that we will do it more often. Since putting Elder Bautista in charge of the intermediate wheelchair (specialized) part of the program, it has blossomed. Doing the assessment is Wennah Marquez. She is wonderful to work with and does a lot to further the work we do.
This man was the best part of the training. He showed up to be assessed for a wheelchair. He has his own business and was texting people that work for him while he was here. He has cerebral palsy and has no real use of his arms and he can't speak. All of his communication is done with a cell phone that he operates with his feet.
He holds it with his left foot and texts with his right. He is very fast and accurate. He answers all of our questions with either the phone or he moves his foot up and down for yes and side to side for no. I regret that I didn't take a video of him. I am amazed at what disabled people can do. It is all about their personal will to accomplish things. I have no reason ever to complain. If he can do it, anyone can.
This training came to an end with 32 people getting their Certified Wheelchair Technician Certifications. One of the larger groups we have worked with and one of the funnest. Every training is unique and memorable. We make friends and we leave a positive impression of the church through the power of the Holy Ghost. The next time they see a black name tag with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, they will be more apt to say Hi.

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