Written By Matthan Emmanuel F. Osorio, Wheelchair Distribution Coordinator, Operation Blessing Philippines
This is Vilma Salazar, a 53 year old woman who was born without lower limbs.
For 23 years, she performed at the circus, starting as a small child in 1962 until 1985, being ridiculed and made fun of by other people. But this did not lower Vilma’s self-esteem and confidence. When she stopped working at the circus, she tried her best to live a normal life despite her lack of legs. She would use two plastic stool chairs to move from one place to another.
Currently, she lives alone and is hardly able to make ends meet. Having skills in doing manicure, she lives off doing home services, but her condition makes it hard for her to move from one place to another. She has to get a pedicab to take her to places.
When asked about how she keeps on smiling despite her condition and situation in life, she says she gets her strength from God and her friends who are very helpful and supportive. She goes to church regularly, but she expressed that, “Minsan nahihiya din ako dahil sa kundisyon ko. Minsan kasi kinukutya ako. (Sometimes I’m embarrassed because of my condition because sometimes people tease me.)”
When asked how she handles these situations she replied, “Natutunan ko lang na i-encourage ang sarili ko sa pamamagitan ng pagdadasal, na sana palagi akong tulungan ng Diyos at bigyan Niya ako ng mabuting kalusugan. (I just learned to encourage myself, praying that the Lord would always help me and that He give me good health.)”
Now with the new wheelchair she received from Operation Blessing in partnership with Free Wheelchair Mission, she can get to places without renting a pedicab. It would mean less expenses and more mobility.
When asked what encouragement she could give to other people who are suffering, she replied, “Tulungan nila ang sarili nila, magtiwala sa sarili at turuan ang sarili na maniwala sa Diyos. (People should help themselves, be confident and learn to have faith in the Lord.)”
HELP US BRING HOPE ON WHEELS!
By partnering with Operation Blessing, you help us distribute wheelchair units from Free Wheelchair Mission to provinces around the country. Call us at (02) 477-7802 today to partner in this endeavor!