News Story

Wheelchair Partner Serves the One


One wheelchair among thousands

Donations of wheelchairs in Malaysia is not a new thing. Since 2008, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and LDS Charities have donated more than 3,600 wheelchairs to mobility disabled persons throughout Malaysia. LDS Charities works with partner organizations who serve people with mobility disabilities to provide appropriate manual wheelchairs to individuals. In 2014 Rotary District 3300 became the wheelchair partner for Malaysia.

Each person who receives a wheelchair is assessed, fitted, instructed, and given ongoing support from trained assessors using World Health Organization Guidelines. On July 18, 2015 two of those trained assessors, Raja Renno and Carol Ng fulfilled the need of Lee Yong Khang, President of Lions Club of Tanjung Mas. A local member of this club had identified a man with a special need for a wheelchair capable of being used on non-paved surfaces.

Jamali Bin Janit lives near Muar, Malaysia. He developed diabetes at a young age. Due to complications from the disease, doctors amputated both his legs five years ago. As he recovered, a friend located a second hand wheelchair for his use. Jamali has been sleeping on his porch because there is no access ramp into his elevated home. When the Tanjung Mas Lions Club was investigating how they could assist Jamali, they found the wheelchair he was using was worn and broken due to the rugged terrain he had been using it on.

A Lions Club member, Tan How Hang, Branch President of the Malacca Branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints knew that LDS Charities provided individuals with different types of wheelchairs based on their needs. He was aware there had been a wheelchair developed for people who live in rugged terrain.

President Tan contacted LDS Charities representatives who worked with Carol Ng, a trained assessor and member of the LDS Church, along with Raja Renno, past President of Rotary Club Melawati. Together they drove 270 km to assess and provide a wheelchair for Jamali. Though Rotary Club has been responsible for accessing and presenting some 350 wheelchairs since February, Raja and Carol took the time to specifically assess the needs of this man. Based on the assessment of his size, health, physical condition, where he used the chair, as well as his surroundings, it was determined the RoughRider® would the best fit for Mr. Jamali's needs.

After getting into the chair, it was just a few minutes until Jamali wheeled himself down the rugged trail to the paved road in front of his house. This was the furthest he had been from his porch in the past four years. A huge smile spread across his face as he realized he could now use the RoughRider® to transport himself the 1.5 km to a health clinic near his home. There he can receive treatment and care which he previously has not been able to access. The assembled group were overcome as they observed the inner strength, determination and resilience of one man.  

Lee Yong Khang from the Lions Club remarked how pleasant it was to work with The Rotary Club and LDS Charities to help meet Jamali's needs. He said "Our country promotes the phrase, One Malaysia. Today we see that phrase in action as people from many cultures, many religions, and two service clubs come together to assist one person. In fact, this really shows we are One World!"

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