“I wish to have a wheelchair!”
– Kalak, 19, Cerebral Palsy Spastic Diplegia
“I want to go further, and see more of the world.”
“It doesn’t matter whatever difficulties or predicaments you encounter. I think that as long as you have faith, never give up, and are motivated to achieve your goals, you can do anything”. Kalak has been battling cerebral palsy since he was 3 months old. However, the limited mobility of his limbs did not hinder his determination to pursue his dreams. Now 19 years old, Kalak has a goal of becoming a professional sign language interpreter. In order to achieve his goals, Kalak made a Wish for a semi-automatic electric wheelchair, which will help him go further and explore more of the world.
Wishing for an electric wheelchair to be one step closer towards becoming a sign language interpreter
Through his mother’s selfless love, Kalak continued to improve on himself and his skills. He first found out about the language of signing through the internet, and has been practicing diligently since then. Kalak was able practice exercising his hand muscles through learning this new language, discovering his passion in life. However, Kalak’s condition made his journey much harder than other people. Whenever Kalak pushed his wheelchair for too long, his hands would become stiff, which affected his ability to sign properly. Moreover, the center which Kalak went to learn sign language was located on a mountain, which meant that his mother had to help him push his wheelchair with difficulty for Kalak to attend his classes. Upon seeing the countless hours and physical exertion that his mother went through for his classes, Kalak made a Wish for an electric wheelchair, hoping to improve his ability to live independently and reduce the burden on his mother.
Breaking through the limits to visit the Avenue of the Stars
Through his classmates, Kalak learnt that the Make-A-Wish Hong Kong were able to grant the Wishes of children with critical illnesses, and confidently wrote a letter to Make-A-Wish expressing his deepest wishes.
The social worker which studied sign language with Kalak was deeply moved by Kalak’s positive attitude towards life. She hopes that Kalak will be able to use his Wish to further his career, saying that “sign language and our spoken languages are very different. Kalak is very talented in both! However, if he only has a regular wheelchair, Kalak’s social spaces will always be limited. His new semi-automatic electric wheelchair will allow him to go to more places and use his knowledge to help more people through sign language”.
Life empowering life, making more Wishes come true!
Our Wish Team were able to order a semi-automatic electric wheelchair that would suit Kalak’s needs. Using his own strength, Caleb was able to visit the the Avenue of Stars, and experience beautiful views all on his own. With help from the Wish Team, Kalak received a further unexpected surprise on his Wish Day. The Wish Team invited Photographer Jack to help Kalak remember the day that his footprints would be eternally left on the Avenue of Stars.
The granting of a Wish is not only limited to the joy of the moment. The impact of a Wish follows and affects the people around us. Kalak hopes that through his Wish, more people can be connected: “I believe that regardless of whether a person has a disability, they have the ability and need to be a part of our society. Through my Wish of an electric wheelchair, I hope that I can explore more of the wonders of the world and promote the concept of inclusivity, to let more people understand the needs and difficulties of people with disabilities”.
Acknowledgement: Li Ka Shing Foundation, Adbrownies Advertising Limited