Saturday, September 28, 2013

Wheelchair Training Course by Latter-day Saint Charities

Going to Kota Bahru for the first time was special. To top it all, being there to participate in a wheelchair training course and to meet up, also for the first time with fellow Rotarians at Rotary Club Kota Bahru made up many swell moments.

25 participants attended the workshop; the majority came from Kota Bahru. My friend, Pearl and I flew in from Kuala Lumpur.Our dedicated instructors, led by physical therapist, Kim Brown of  Latter-day Saint Charities, all the way from Salt Lake City, Utah, USA did an excellent job imparting his expertise. The entire workshop was dutifully translated into Bahasa Malaysia by Suki, our Malaysian physiotherapist and Yana.

We learned the A,B,Cs of  wheelchairs - descriptions of the the different components  and how to guide first -time users. There were wheelchairs - standard and rough rider to give away and a major part of the course detailed assessing the potential user to give a wheelchair. Upon being credited as suitable, the user or caregiver is taught how to ride, open doors, go up and down steps assisted, safety tips etc.

A wheelchair is a tool and a machine.It is gratifying to know that with giving  a wheelchair away, lives are changed. Mobility is enhanced, coping better with physical impediments, providing invaluable aid to caregivers, enabling greater self-esteem are some outcomes. All the more so, being well -trained to have more in-depth knowledge about wheelchairs and end -users is of utmost importance.

The day of reckoning came when the instructors stepped back for the students to apply their newly -acquired expertise. 30 odd locals came in anticipation with their families/caregivers to be assessed.

Needless to say, it was a memorable goodbye to each and every new recipient of the wheelchairs. To be able to ride home in comfort and tackle each day, through thick and thin. As for the students who proudly wore the tees with a new designation of Wheelchair Specialist, it was not only worthwhile time spent but humbling to be part of the great teaching and interaction of Latter-day Saint Charities' humanitarian outreach.

Gaye Brown  showing the parts of a wheelchair and recognizing their functions.

Chart shows the ideal posture of 90/90/90 degrees.

Gaye Brown showing how to safely  transfer  a wheelchair user .
Participant practising the correct way to measure  for the suitable size for the wheelchair user.

Kim Brown, physical therapist emphasizing  the importance of  correct measurement for a correct size of wheelchair  for the user. 4 Teams measured 4 persons - some  results showed variations.
Participant learning  the slide test to ensure the wheelchair is a good fit for the user.
Wheelchair cushion  being cut to fit the size of the wheelchairs which come in 12, 14, 16, 18 and 20 inches
Out with the wrenches which were given to every participant  to assemble the wheelchairs.

Assembling a rough rider - team work at its best.

One of the potential recipients for a wheelchair wheeled in for assessing.

History taking , noting any  'red flags' .
A happy participant of the 3 day course.

Proud to be a student of Kim Brown ( rt) and Robert Howell  (LDS Humanitarian Director) of Latter-day Saint Charities

It's a happy, satisfying  culmination of a 3 day course -  participants with their instructors. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Rotary Family Breakfast

Sunday morning on 8 Sept was cool after the past evening of heavy showers. Thankfully, District 3300 was able to enjoy a Rotary Family Breakfast at Rotary Square for brekkie with a good dose of fellowship.

It was also a chance to be at our very own Rotary Square. It was my third visit ; the first being the relaunch of Rotary Square. A home is where we come to roost. For Rotarians, we value this spot, smack in the city centre, dedicated to Rotary, our beloved organisation. Thanks to the mayors who recognise the immense contributions of Rotary. Our  Rotary Wheel logo stands tall and high for the public to know us. Herein the Square  lies our time capsule to be released 100 years later (2100)  It will surely be a momentous day when it finally arrives.

Back to the morning . Limbering up exercises  were led by our DG, Dato Dr Mohinder Singh. We surrendered our bodies to stretch and sway. Soon momentum picked up when qigong master and Rotarian,  Mr Tan, got us to find the chi in us as we followed his instructions.

I came prepared to tell a story for the children. Just 4 were there but the adults more than made up for them!! Be prepared for frogs croaking and mozzies buzzing  amidst the tyrannical chieftain's orders. All Things Are Connected reminds us to seek a balance in Nature . It is worth retelling  for the fun and interactivity and the message which is evident.

All in , it was a relaxed morning. The organising committee did a fine job. As usual, it was all hands on deck. We look forward to more happenings here.

Qiqong master with an attentive audience.

City Hall /DBKL towering in the background.

My fellow club members,spouse Ravi and fellow Rotarians.

Bend and flex

Gather here, all ye Rotarians!
Squirt in!

Love on  wheels. 

Helping hands 

Healthy start - come on!
Time capsule for the future generation

PP Mah ( RC Kajang) couldn't resist being  King Frog!

Tyranny got the chieftain nowhere.

I made them laugh.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Relay For Life - A World without Cancer

National Cancer Soc. Malaysia 's Relay for Life was a 16 hour overnight event. It began on 24 August,  starting from dusk and ended at dawn the next day. In KL, it took place at Dataran Petaling Jaya, Padang Timur.  I'm glad I was there with my hubby after dinner to lend support.

For the short period of 2 hours we were there, I must say it was heart-warming. As we walked round the track, we could see and feel that in the fight against cancer, through the darkness, HOPE prevails. The survivors, families of the afflicted, friends, and the public were there to celebrate, remember, and persevere the fight.

The youths were there in big numbers. The fun  was palpable. Lots of people entertained with songs and dances. Time did not permit me to play a game of bingo.

Education on cancer was certainly in the minds of the event organisers. For it is through awareness that we can be alert to detect cancer in the early stages. Money raised through this event educates and supports cancer - activities and helping the afflicted.

I tried something never done before. For a token of RM 5, there was instant tutelage to try my hand at Chinese brush painting.Soon the 'masterpiece' showed itself to big smiles and words of encouragement  from onlookers. Positivity! Beaming happily, I gingerly carried a still wet art piece home.

Applause!  And it goes to the survivors who were at hand to guide and give us a confidence boost.

I must spread the word  about the spiritedness of Relay For Life.  It is important to remember the loved ones lost  forever but also to celebrate the struggles and triumphs of the survivors. Relay For Life is a meaningful event that brings people from all walks of life, of communities coming together. The battle against cancer goes on...

To hold steadfast and pray for
Relay -  pass the baton and support the cause

Tents for those who wished to stay overnight to finish the 16 hour dusk to dawn event.
Lots of booths for games, food, organistions etc. 
Families, friends and public support  - all over the field to mark a meaningful event. Luminaria bags lined the arena of the field with messages dedicated to loved ones.  In the wee hours of the morning, the walk round the arena continued - for cancer never sleeps.
Victory conquers and shines
Remembering ...
Holding a Chinese brush for the first time!I could hear  my inner voice: Be brave, ink it ! Well, with a shaky hand, I did.
My bamboo - aiming for the moon! Thank you, teacher. 
Happiness is holding a new piece of art  taught by the survivors..