Maker of the PET Mobility Cart since 1994.
Leprosy is just one more reason your help is needed to build and ship carts today!
Give the Gift of Mobility, Dignity, and Opportunity!
Mobility Worldwide MO-Columbia Update: 698 built since 1-1-17
I gave visitors to the shop last week a tour and showed them photos of Mobility Cart recipients. They were surprised that leprosy was still active, and that we gave carts to some persons affected by leprosy and related diseases. Leprosy is still very much active in our world today. Here is a story of a visit I made to a leper colony in Haiti a few years ago, in 1992, before Mobility Worldwide (PET) was born.
“This morning as I made an early morning walk I saw a small cluster of cardboard houses perched atop a craggy and isolated rocky hill. I walked to it and saw that it was a leper village. I stumbled upon this “suburb of shame” (shame on a world that still allows this to happen) as I was in the country working for Habitat. Here in tiny houses made of cardboard, plastic and tin lived six or eight families, members of each showing severe signs of leprosy. As long as my mind remains alert, I shall remember those dear sisters and brothers, cast aside by society; and like their cardboard houses, slowly rotting away.”
With that vivid picture etched on my mind I was quick to respond when we received at mobility mission an inquiry from the American Leprosy Missions in Greenville, SC. (They currently work in 8 countries and send supplies & do training in more places.) I drove many miles out of my way, while on another trip, to deliver them 2 carts for their trial and consideration.
One of the effects of leprosy is that the body’s extremities: nose, ears, fingers, and toes, slowly rot away, requiring progressive amputations. A person with no fingers cannot make use of a crutch or a wheelchair. But they can make use of a Mobility Cart for they can “palm” the crank handle and become mobile.
In 2005 we sent 84 carts to the Dondi Leprosy Village in Angola. The plight of a woman who received a Mobility Cart is described here, written before she received the cart.
“Julieta came to the village 30 years ago when her husband was one of the guards, five years before he died of leprosy. When they arrived he had leprosy, she did not. Around 1985 she began to notice leprosy patches on her shoulders and face. Her hands became maimed and her feet developed ulcers and had to be removed. She received a PET and wrote:
‘I was never able to use a prosthesis, and I can’t manage a crutch with my disfigured hands. With the PET I can drive to the field. I kneel in the field, and can still hold a tool. I grow sweet potatoes, maize, beans and cabbage. Everything helps me feed my family. If my daughter has all she needs, we will sell some and buy some soap or salt.’” (read more and see more pictures from this report)
(In 2009 we sent supplies to build 100 and 45 completed carts.)
“It is a terrible, an inexorable, law that one cannot deny the humanity of another without diminishing one’s own: in the face of the victim, one sees oneself.” James Baldwin
Mel West, Director Emeritus
DBA Mobility Worldwide MO – Columbia