Feet of My Own

BOGO, Cebu — Mario Dacal Jr. was allowed to be absent from his classes last March 9, a Wednesday. Something good was going to happen to him, and he had all the support of his teachers, family, and friends. He would be receiving a wheelchair—something he had longed to have all his young life.

Mario didn’t have any feet. He was born that way. Doctors called his condition congenital phocomelia of his lower extremities.

When he was old enough to go to school, his mother had to carry him there herself before going to work. This became increasingly difficult to do because he was getting heavier. His school bag was also becoming heavier each year. Nonetheless, his mom persevered. Her son’s education was important to her.

Mario’s mom also made sure he was brought up not feeling he has less than other kids. The nine-year-old is already active on Facebook. Three of his six siblings live away from home and he loves to connect with them online. They dote on him being the youngest.

He is also intrigued with computers and plays games with his friends. He wants to be a computer engineer because, he explains, you don’t have to get off your seat to be one. People around him also say that he doesn’t sit still all his days. “He plays basketball,” they boast. “He can even swim.”

When Mario arrived at Operation Blessing’s wheelchair distribution site, he realized he wouldn’t be the only wheelchair recipient. There were several wheelchairs from Free Wheelchair Mission lined up in a row, some already with occupants.

He watched with mounting excitement as a wheelchair was wheeled towards him. Then a big man, a local volunteer, picked him up and placed him on it. It felt good. He wanted to try it out immediately, but another Operation Blessing volunteer was still busy tightening the bolts. Then he had to patiently listen to the speeches of several important people, including the mayor, and a lecture on how to use the wheelchair.

Finally, Mario and his wheelchair were ready. He tested the wheels, moved back and forth a little, and then smiled up.

“Now I would be able to feed our chickens by myself,” he said. “I’d be able to help my parents do our chores.”
Mario endeared himself to the Operation Blessing team when, after being asked have his photo taken, he gamely climbed down from his wheelchair and posed for the camera like a child celebrity.

Bright child that he is, Mario has already heard of prosthetics. “I’m thankful for the wheelchair,” he admits, “though I still dream of having my own feet. For the meantime, this wheelchair will do me a lot of good.”


By partnering with Operation Blessing Foundation Philippines, you help us distribute wheelchairs units from Free Wheelchair Mission to provinces around the country. Call (02) 477-7802 today to partner with us!

February 2012
Earth-Shattering Tragedies
Nothing Can Shake Us
Both Young and Old Hit by Sendong

January 2012
Cleaning Up After Sendong
Missions That Save Lives
A Magical Christmas
Healing After the Storm
Holiday of Happiness
Iligan: Hope and Heroism
Cagayan de Oro: Tales of Survival and Compassion

November 2011
The Hat Weavers of Jao
The Right Tools for Recovery
Keeping the Malong Alive

October 2011
Operation Blessing Uplifts Flooded Calumpit
When We Need You The Most
Rainbow After the Flood
Surprise for a Survivor
A Heart Full of Hope
Worse Than Ondoy
Small Things Go a Long Way
Aid Arrives in Nueva Ecija

September 2011
Dreams and Answered Prayers
Merry, Joyful Mary Joy
Sharing Hope Through a Toy
Caring for the Seniors

August 2011
Erick Can Smile Now
Saving Grace
God’s Mercy Amidst Life’s Tragedy

July 2011
Winmark Finally Wins
Life When the River Rises
New Life Beyond a Broken Bridge
A Timely Blessing
OB First to Bring Relief to Hardest Hit of Davao Flood Victims

June 2011
Mission Behind Bars
Weaver on Wheels
Helping Out Grandma Potter
Sewing Her Way Out of Poverty
Enrico is All Grown Up
A Mother’s Honorable Dream
Wheel Marks on the Sand

May 2011
Meet Determined Dexter
How Precious is an OB Well?
A Celebration of God’s Faithfulness: Love Your Neighbor
"It's Like a New Life!"
Feet of My Own
Dancing On One Leg

April 2011
Something To Make Her Smile
Grandma's New Boat
Moving Forward
Everything Will Be All Right

March 2011
Operation Blessing Leaves Legacy Among Payatas Kids
Freed From Agony
He Could Have Been Anybody’s Dad
Seed of Hope

February 2011
Operation Blessing Moves to New Home in Pasig
Relief That Restores Hope
A Chance to Show Compassion
A Simple Wish Granted

January 2011
Believing the Impossible
A Stool for a Cane
Keeping the Vow She Made
A Gift Better Than Gold

December 2010
Road to Recovery
God Bless Ye Merry Little Men
Abandoned But Not Forgotten
There’s Someone Who Loves Me
No, Not Abandoned!

November 2010
God Cares, Still!
Just One Touch
Touching an Orphan’s Heart
Faithful in Every Season

October 2010
One Unforgettable Visit
One Heart at a Time
Mixed Rice and Toothy Grins
Blessed Beyond Measure
A Day of Enchantment
Someone to Love As We Grow Old

September 2010
Operation Blessing Serves the Elderly in Cavite
A Handicapped Woman’s Beautiful Feet
New Life, New Hope
Operation Blessing Helps Out in Damayang Lagi Fire
Operation Blessing Brings Smiles Amidst Fire Tragedy
From Hopeless End to Endless Hope

August 2010
Sewing a Better Life
Jhan-Jhan’s Priceless Gift
Operation Blessing Responds To Caloocan Fire
Operation Blessing Kids Graduate with Honors and Hope
Thankful Mothers of Payatas
Repair Skills Restore Hope and Dignity
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