Rotary Changes Lives

Domitilia's smiling face belies the difficulties she experiences every single day of her life.
Her daughter, Anyury was stricken with Muscular Dystrophy when she was only six months old
She is now 25 years old. 
Domitilia has carried Anyury - now a young woman -  every day for 25 years.
But today, through the community spirit and generosity of Rotary, she was to receive her first wheelchair.
Unfortunately, all the special Kanga chairs were spoken for. Kanga chairs are expensive (about $2,500 in the USA) special chairs for children who have no mobility in their arms and legs, and need help holding their heads up.
However, they were still very excited - we managed to get her one of the last wheelchairs out of the 300 wheelchairs that the Rotary Club of Playa Coronado has distributed.
Or so we thought.
Their day started as most of their days do - with challenges.
As they were about to leave, Anyuray had a bathroom accident, and they were out of disposable diapers. 
Domitilia had to quickly wash some cloth diapers so they could bring her to Coronado on this important day.
Then, their car would not start. 
There were no neighbors around with a vehicle large enough to carry three people and bring back a wheelchair.
They were trying to get to my house in Santa Clara from Anton in time so I could drive them all to Coronado.
If I had known they had car trouble, I would have gone and picked them up, but they speak no English and were afraid to call.
I tried to find out where they were - to no avail - and was disappointed to have to leave without them for my Rotary lunch.
Undeterred, they called for a special needs transport vehicle.
The CSS special needs transport arrived, but the fees from Anton to Coronado and back were a whopping $8.00 - money which they just didn’t have.
They explained what they were doing and the driver, seeing Anyury, agreed to take them for free.
The start of the day’s good fortune.
When they arrived, they were thrilled to see a Kanga chair waiting for them.
As fate turned out, a chair was exchanged for a different chair - so we had a Kanga just the right size for her.
Her mother beamed, then cried and then swelled with pride to see her daughter in her special chair.
We placed Anyury in the chair to adjust it to her, but when they removed her to make adjustments, she cried out. 
Clearly she liked the chair and was afraid it was being taken away.
The Rotary Club members treated the whole family and the CSS driver to a special lunch at La Teca - and just like any other young person - Anyury chose a hamburgesa.
Before they left, the club gave her mom $30 to buy new diapers.
Mark Kendziorek, our club president made a very valid point - donations of wheelchairs do not just affect the recipient’s life - they affect many people’s lives, including their family, and in this case, especially her mom who for the first time can take her child for a walk without having to carry her everywhere.
I know it certainly effected my life, for the better. 
I smile every time I think of Anyury and Domicilla’s faces.
Rotary really does change lives.
If you would like to find out more about how you can change lives in your community, we invite you to come to a lunch and check out our club.
It’s a fun, casual club - no anthems, prayers or ceremonies (Hey, we are a beach club after all) 
We are just folks that enjoy doing good work in our community.
We meet every Tuesday at 12 noon at La Teca Restaurant in Coronado - the Machetazo Mall, 2nd floor.