The The Wheelchair Foundation, a division of Global Health and Education Foundation,
a 501(c)3 charitable foundation, has a goal to provide a free wheelchair to every child,
teen and adult worldwide who needs one but has no means to acquire one.
WWII Veterans Return Home From 'Honor Flight'
WWII veterans return home from Honor Flight. Photo courtesy of KTVU Channel 2 News
This story borrowed and re-published in full from the KTVU Channel 2 News Website
SAN FRANCISCO — Bay Area World War II veterans who took an “honor flight” to see the war memorial in Washington, D.C. arrived back home Sunday. Families held flags and signs at San Francisco International Airport for an emotional reunion with their veterans.
“My dad is legally blind, legally deaf, he’s an amputee, he’s had two heart surgeries and he’s got lung cancer – so he’s living on borrowed time,” said Janice Lopez. The Fremont Firefighters Union had raised $30,000 to send the 30 veterans to see the war memorial before it’s too late. Some of the firefighters went on the trip to chaperon the veterans.
World War II veteran Art Perry told KTVU the trip meant he was able to talk with people his age, who went through the same thing he did. “It made me feel really good having someone like that to talk to,” he said.
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Valley View fifth-grader Nicole Brownen, sitting in her class’s demo wheelchair, cuts out a shape using her non-dominant left hand, part of an ability-awareness lesson highlighting fine motor skills. (Photo by Jeremy Walsh)
Students in the San Ramon Valley and other parts of the Bay Area are learning valuable lessons about physical and mental disabilities through a burgeoning awareness program.
By placing wheelchairs on local campuses and providing educational information to school leaders, the Wheelchair Foundation’s From the Heart schools project aims to raise awareness about disabilities in the world, inform local students about issues faced by people with disabilities and generate funds for people in need of wheelchairs.
“We want it to be a lot more than a fundraiser,” said Don Routh, one of the volunteers spearheading the foundation’s effort. “I’m just as excited about raising awareness about mobility,” Routh said, adding that he enjoys helping students realize, “It’s OK to be in a wheelchair, (and) you shouldn’t be afraid of people in wheelchairs.”
Awareness campaigns like From the Heart have held special meaning for Routh for more than three decades.
“I’ve been an advocate for people with disabilities ever since my son was diagnosed (with cerebral palsy) at 1 year old, which would be 34 years ago,” said Routh, a retired business executive from San Ramon. “He’s my inspiration.”
With the help of his adult son Josh — who uses a wheelchair — and friend and Pleasanton business owner Bill Wheeler, Routh coordinates with the foundation and education leaders to present the From the Heart program at 48 Bay Area schools, primarily in the San Ramon Valley and Pleasanton school districts.
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Fourth-grader Eddie Park, 9, navigates through his classroomin a wheelchair Feb. 7 at Vintage Hills Elementary School in Pleasanton. Students at the school had the use of 10 wheelchairs to experience what it is like to navigate the campus in one. Photo by Anda Chu / Bay Area News Group
This article is borrowed from the Contra Costa Times and is shared in it's entirety. To read the original article written by Robert Jordan click here.
SAN RAMON -- Don Routh's lips still tremble and his eyes fight back tears as he recalls the day 34 years ago when doctors told him that his then 1-year-old son, Josh, would never speak or have use of his limbs.
Doctors diagnosed Josh with cerebral palsy, a developmental disability that is caused by brain damage -- usually sustained in the womb or at birth -- that affects body movement, according to United Celebral Palsy.
"I was terrified," said Routh, who adopted Josh when he was two days old. "That was my son and to hear that he would be a quadriplegic was tough. ... But you can either bury your head in the sand or you can embrace it."
Routh has done more than embrace it. He has spent his money and time advocating for people with disabilities. The doctors were wrong about Josh. Josh, 35, lives by himself in San Ramon and works as a clerk at Nob Hill Foods.
Together Routh, Josh and Bill Wheeler, the owner of Black Tie Transportation in Pleasanton... Click here to read the rest of this inspiration story.