Title: Miracle Wheels
Author: Don Schoendorfer
Major Themes: Disabilities, Wheelchairs, Medical Missions
Synopsis: A dyslexic boy with a passion to help people tells the story of his mission to bring mobility to the world.
As I have said many times before, I always enjoy memoirs. When I see a Christian memoir offered for review, I almost always grab it. This week, I read Miracle Wheels. The subtitle explains this book clearly, The Story of a Mission to Bring Mobility to the World. In these pages, Dan describes what ended up being his life mission, and how he got there.
Don was born and raised in Ashtabula, Ohio. As a boy, he struggled with reading because of dyslexia. He spent his spare time building and modifying a go-kart, and trying to outwit the police with it. After graduating from high school, he entered a university, where his dream was to use technology to help people. He helped to develop several things there, then ended up in the corporate world. There, he helped develop new medical technologies. Then, through his daughter’s serious problems, Don and his wife started going to church and became Christians.
Don still wanted to make a difference in people’s lives. When he saw the way disabled people lived in third-world countries, he had the idea of building cheap wheelchairs that could be passed out there. He worked and experimented until he came up with a cheap, sturdy chair that would give the disabled the mobility and dignity they so desperately needed—and then he had to find a way to get it to them.
I found Miracle Wheels a very inspiring account. This was a man who, though he struggled with school, set himself the goal of going to MIT and learning everything he could, with the goal of helping people. I loved the way he gave God the glory for all the good he was able to do, even pointing out the fact that it was a terrible experience he and his wife went through with their daughter that brought about their turning to God as well as good that happened later. The stories about the disabled people he helped in third-world countries were heartbreaking. I never thought about the struggles such people faced before.
I received a review copy of this book from NetGalley, and these are my honest thoughts about it.
WARNING: Chapter 26 describes a terrible “treatment” by a shaman in Africa.