Local Club Gives Mobility to Thousands Globally
By Kessler McLaughlin, October 24, 2014
BRYAN – Life can be a little tougher if you have a disability that keeps you from moving around, but there’s a global effort to equip people with disabilities so they can be more mobile.
27-year-old Seun Oke lives in Nigeria. When she was just 8 years old, she got polio, which took away her ability to walk.
“Before I got the PET, I’m crawling on the ground to go to school,” Oke said.
She’s talking about the Personal Energy Transportation, or PET, cart that she received to help her navigate her country’s streets.
“I didn’t want to be dependent on somebody to be assisting me,” Oke said.
And now she doesn’t have to. The carts are made here in the United States and they don’t need electricity to run…just good old fashioned elbow grease.
In Bryan, about 350 carts are built each year. One of the people that helps put them together is Chester Jones.
“my wife says it’s something that keeps me out of the bars and off the streets,” Jones said.
He’s a 91-year old World War II Veteran and his volunteer work helps to keep him going.
“The stories just absolutely hit your heart.”
As for Seun, she was able to get an education because of her cart.
“I’m living alone, I’m doing everything by myself, so true using my PET cart,” Oke said.
The Brazos Valley PET Project estimates that there are still 70 million people in underdeveloped countries that need help.
“We need more PET carts for them so that their lives will be changed as my own life has changed because PET carts changed my life totally.”