It is estimated that more than 500,000 children in Mexico alone are in need of a wheelchair but cannot afford one.
There are numerous answers as to why so many children have been robbed of their mobility throughout Mexico, but thankfully, the Teletón Rehabilitation Centers for Children – or CRIT’s – have been well-established throughout the states of Mexico.
The CRIT facilities throughout Mexico are saving the lives of children who have been disabled by diseases from birth or injury. Through their televised “Teletón” each year since 1996, they have raised the funds to build 22 of the most advanced and beautiful centers in Mexico, and have established their first “CRIT USA” center in San Antonio, Texas.
These world-class centers use medical and holistic approaches in dealing with every type of physical disability. Parents are involved in the treatments given to the children so they can continue the exercises, or therapies at home, and the whole family is encouraged to take part. The services are provided free of charge, or at a very low rate based on the family’s ability to pay.
When it comes to mobility devices like wheelchairs, there is no way the CRIT centers can afford to provide the great numbers needed, so this is where the participation of Rotarians and their families becomes so important.
The gift of a wheelchair allows children to go to school, move themselves around their house without crawling or being carried, go outside to play with their family and friends, go to church, and go places that their parents just can’t carry them.
After a recent wheelchair distribution in Guanajuato, MX, the American Wheelchair Mission team visited an outdoor market and found one of the kids who had just received a wheelchair several hours earlier. This was the first time his mom was able to take him to her small clothing stand at the city market where she sells the clothes she makes. He was very happy to be there to help his mom and see all the people.
The gift of wheelchairs to the patients at the CRIT centers is their number one most needed commodity. Needless to say, the recipient families in need are always enormously grateful.