The Lions Club of Subang Jaya (“LCSJ”) working in conjunction with Pertiwi Soup Kitchen helped a Rohingya refugee family, living in Kuala Lumpur, with walking disabilities become mobile again.
In this family of five, the father and both young sons suffer from Achondroplasia, a hereditary bone disorder that has left all three of them unable to walk.
Achondroplasia is a disorder of bone growth that prevents the changing of cartilage (particularly in the long bones of the arms and legs) to bone. It is characterized by dwarfism, limited range of motion at the elbows, large head size (macrocephaly), small fingers, and normal intelligence.
Abdul Rahman, the father and breadwinner, is a street peddler and relies on a donated electric wheelchair to ply his trade. His two sons, aged 3 and 11, have never owned wheelchairs but are pushed around in an old baby stroller.
The family’s income has taken a beating during this pandemic, coupled with Abdul Rahman’s wheelchair which had broken down, leaving the family at their wits end as they are unable to pay rent or purchase necessities.
“Pertiwi Soup Kitchen has been helping the family throughout these trying times with necessities and rental aid,” said Zakiah Sarbudeen, a volunteer with the soup kitchen.
Lion Charlene Chew, a representative from LCSJ, said the club stepped in to pay for the repairs of Abdul Rahman’s electric wheelchair, and donated wheelchairs to both his sons with its Medical Aid Fund.
“With the wheelchair repaired, Abdul Rahman can get back to work and provide for his family,” Chew said.
The two young sons, who each received a brand new wheelchair, were all smiles as they learned to roll themselves about. Chew added that “giving the boys their own wheelchairs will allow them mobility to take part in daily activities and result in better mental, social and physical development.”