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Irvine man to bring wheelchairs to Zambia

June 6, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Don Schoendorfer helps customize wheelchairs to help people with disabilities in developing countries.

Using steel frames and bicycle-sized tires he helps people navigate rough, often unpaved roads.

Next week he'll travel to Zambia in Africa to distribute 550 wheelchairs to those in need.

"These people don't have a chair. There's a hundred million we estimate that are like this. And they're living on the ground, they're crawling if they have strong arms, they're being carried if they don't weigh very much," said Schoendorfer. "When you get this chair, it opens up a whole new chapter in their life, it's amazing the transition."

Schoendorfer's group Free Wheelchair Mission has distributed more than half a million wheelchairs since it began in 2001.