Zayda’s Story: A New Wheelchair for a 49-year-old Basketball Champ
We often meet inspiring people in our line of work, but Zayda amazed our staff when we met her. This 49-year-old basketball player who wheels herself to work every day at the market in Nicaragua is also an active member of the Nicaraguan Association for Mobility Disability, and changes her own wheelchair tires (with a comb!). Last week, Karen Reyes of UCP Wheels for Humanity visited Zayda at her home – which she shares with her daughter and grandson – and got a glimpse into the daily life of this amazing woman whose life has been changed for the better with a UCP Wheels for Humanity chair.
Zayda has been a wheelchair user her entire life, but has relied mainly on refurbished, ill-fitting equipment which made everyday tasks difficult and even dangerous. Since receiving her chair from our field staff in Nicaragua last year, she can more easily navigate the terrain in her neighborhood, which allows her to get to work and visit with friends more easily. She is also more confident in her new chair, which will help her avoid life-threatening complications from ill-fitted equipment.
“In our poverty, my mother taught me how to use myself, to fight, to live, to enjoy, and to do that,” Zayda shared with our staff. “Playing basketball has given me respect from others because I have been playing for more than 20 years and I am good!” Of the new wheelchair which makes her vibrant lifestyle more enjoyable, she also joked “I even look prettier and younger.”
Where Zayda lives, the terrain is rough, streets and walkways can be narrow, and many places are inaccessible to wheelchairs altogether. Millions of people around the world living with a disability in communities without the resources to support their mobility can often wind up home-bound, unable to attend work or school, or even with life-threatening conditions. We work to establish and strengthen health systems to ensure that everyone has access to mobility so that they can lead healthier, more productive lives.