News and stories Stories Mercy, Kenya “Before, I thought ‘I cannot’ about tasks. Now, I think ‘I can.’” Five years ago, Mercy’s life changed forever when she developed a blood clot in her back. She lost sensation and, even after surgery, was left unable to walk. Mercy found it difficult to accept she needed a wheelchair and refused to use one for six months. During that time, she stayed in bed and was completely reliant on her family to take care of her. “My life was a mess,” she told us. “Some of my friends were supportive. Others I did not see anymore. At the time, I had a boyfriend. He stood with me for some time but I did not want to be a burden.” Eventually, Mercy was given a wheelchair without any assessment or training. It was not correctly fitted and had no cushion, causing a pressure sore on her hip. What’s more, she was struggling to manage her bladder and bowel, and had lost all her confidence. Now I do everything for myself. Although Mercy’s family were supportive, they did not know how best to help her. Two years after she fell ill, someone close to her contacted Motivation. Mercy soon received a Motivation wheelchair that was strong and comfortable, and fitted her perfectly. She attended Motivation’s peer training, which is provided by other wheelchair users, and her self-esteem began to grow. Once she was more independent and able to look after herself, Mercy even had the confidence to begin powerlifting and joined the national Paralympic team. “I started powerlifting to lose weight. I had started to gain weight and I did not want to get bigger," she explained “I did not think I could do it but I have proved that I could. Now, I want to excel in sports and powerlifting. I also want to extend support to other people with spinal injuries because I have the training and I would like to help them. I can relate to these people. I have experienced what they are going through.” Through our peer training, Mercy has become much more aware of her rights as a disabled person. She is pushing for a lift or ramp at her gym so she does not have to be carried up the stairs. She has also made a proposal to the county government to fund training like she received from Motivation. The governor said it was a good idea. I did this all by myself. Make a donation to support people like Mercy Mercy is just one of thousands of people who could benefit from our support. You can help today by making a donation and supporting our work.