Stories of Impact

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On The Move In Guatemala


[Clemencia Cap, 92, no longer uses a stick to move around her town in Guatemala after receiving a walker donated by Brother’s Brother Foundation.]

By Kaitlyn Nuebel

Walking is not easy for 92-year-old Clemencia Cap who lives by herself in the town of Tiquisate, Guatemala; she uses a stick as a makeshift cane to make it from one spot to another. For Cap and the millions of other Guatemalans who live in poverty, poor access to basic medical supplies means additional obstacles stand in the way of living a routine life.

Meanwhile, back in Pittsburgh, PA, hundreds of walkers and canes lean against a wall in the Brother’s Brother Foundation warehouse. Having outlived the people they once supported, these mobility devices were donated by loved ones with the hope they would go to good use. It will not be long before batches of them leave the warehouse in 40’ containers filled with an assortment of other medical supplies. Most will have a second life and land in a country thousands of miles away; all will arrive with a new purpose – that’s the journey one donated walker took before replacing Cap’s stick in Guatemala.

Cap’s new walker arrived in Guatemala in a container sent by BBF. The supplies were distributed to 122 healthcare clinics in 22 departments across Guatemala. Suction kits and bandages helped doctors treat thousands of patients while walkers gave 36 people a renewed sense of mobility. Juan Gomez, a 68-year-old retired mason was one of them. Previously, he used a cane and had frequent falls. The new walker allows him to navigate his community of La Democracia much more easily, and with a decreased risk of falling. Another recipient, Maria Lopez, 52, now has the support she needs to move around her house in Magusa without relying on her children. Other stories of hope and stability are unfolding elsewhere in Guatemala because of the dozens of other walkers in BBF’s shipment. Those, too, honor lives in Pittsburgh by supporting someone as they step into a better future.

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