Martin Brown from the Johannesburg area of South Africa
develops power wheelchairs and displays/sells them at Disability Expo

November 13, 2005

LifeNets organized a fund-raiser to help buy a suitable van to transport Martin Brown in 2003-2004.  You may recall the story.

Martin has developed power wheelchairs that he exhibited at the Disability Expo in Johannesburg, South Africa.  This is an inspiring story about a quadriplegic who  is making significant contributions to help other people with similar needs. LifeNets, which runs the Wheelchair Project applauds his work.

Martin Brown's mother, Louise Steyn tells this story:

As many of you know, this week is one of great excitement, stress, anticipation. well you name it we feel it!
 
My first emotion is one of pride and gratitude.  Martin is launching his power wheelchairs at the Expo, which will be held at Kyalami Exhibition Centre from Thursday, 3 November 2005 to Saturday 5 November 2005. 
 
He has been working and researching this chair for about four years now and then designed the chair in his Caddie Program with a dowel stick in the mouth.  It is now a dream realised and the wheelchair is performing so much better than even we thought it would!

 

They are cheeky looking, can "wheely" on their little anti tilt wheels and can handle whatever rough terrain comes their way. Most of you cannot be there, but you can support Martin in the most important way!  Please pray that God will bless his efforts to make life a little easier for others in the same situation as Martin and that his business will be a success. If you do find the time to visit our stall at C10 and B10, please call me at 082 412-2194, and I will bring you a complimentary entry to the gate.  Come and have coffee with us!
 
Thank you so much!
 
Louise Steyn

And now, Louise Steyn's report on the Disability Expo:

The Disability Expo was sooo good, beyond our wildest dreams!
 
Thank you so very much for your prayers and good wishes.  We appreciate it so!
 
We were 15 minutes into the expo, still unpacking our brochures, when Martin made his first sale to a very pretty lady who bought the chair for her 14 year-old son.
 
The expo organisers even asked us if we could leave one of our chairs at the door for use by people who were struggling on crutches.  Of course, our chair had its "Demonstration model" signs on!

 

Maxine Strydom, very involved at the Foundation of Muscle Dystrophy, calling hubby and saying:  I want this chair!

Our stall was definitely the most exciting one there, with a brand-new South African manufactured chair and all!  We gained some very valuable leads!  Tuesday, 8th, we left for Durban (AGAIN!) and visited the Strydom family to measure Jarryd for his chair!  This business seems to not only bring business, but also wonderful people who touch your heart and become friends rather than customers! Jarryd is a 14 year old who lives, eats and sleeps pimp-my-ride, speed, power and why-is-it-not-done-yet! He has energy and a jest for life bar none! 
 
Martin and Pieter will have their hands full for the next 6 to 8 weeks, building Jarryd's chair, which is a 4 x 4, tilt-in-space, raised seat, reclining seat, flames on the ferring, etc etc., plus two other chairs.
 
We are leaving again for Limpopo (or in the area of Limpopo) on the 21st, to measure two other kids there.  Then we will be in Durban on the 15th to 18th December, when we will probably hand over Jarryd's chair and supply Maxine with models to display at her fundraiser at the Pavillion Shopping Centre on the 17th.
 
We are busy and blessed and thank you once again for your prayers!  Martin has achieved something here that will help thousands of South Africans afford a better chair for less money.  He is not going the Distributor/Agency etc. way, as he wants to keep control of the price on the chair in his hands.  Rather, finder's fees will apply.
 
One of the chairs on show  -check the trailer in the background! "Da Boss" Exhibitor arriving for the expo. Martin brought the TV in on it!

I will keep in touch from time to time!
 
With much love,
Louise and Martin

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