Loading…
Friday, November 28, 2014
Current Weather
Loading Current Weather....
Published: Monday, 11/19/2012 - Updated: 2 years ago

Trip to Ukraine turns into life-altering experience

BY KELLY McLENDON
BLADE STAFF WRITER
From left, Gracie Runyon, Leigh Ann Yungmann, Tri-State Medical Supply general manager, Kristen Runyon, and Cecily Rohrs surround a wheelchair similar to one headed for a man in Ukraine From left, Gracie Runyon, Leigh Ann Yungmann, Tri-State Medical Supply general manager, Kristen Runyon, and Cecily Rohrs surround a wheelchair similar to one headed for a man in Ukraine
THE BLADE/LORI KING Enlarge | Buy This Photo

WAUSEON — When Ful­ton County res­i­dent Kris­ten Runyon and her 15-year-old daugh­ter Gracie Runyon re­turned from Ukraine this sum­mer, they had a story to tell.

Trav­el­ing with friends on a mis­sion trip that they or­ga­nized as a col­lec­tive, us­ing their own money, the group vis­ited or­phan­ages and nurs­ing homes near Odessa.

But it was a visit to a small, coun­try nurs­ing home that would end up chang­ing a life.

“The liv­ing con­di­tions were not real fa­vor­able,” Ms. Runyon said. She no­ticed that a res­i­dent who lived in the fa­cil­ity was smil­ing, even though he had sores on his face and his legs were miss­ing.

“He was in his bed and he has no legs, not even stumps or any­thing. It was pretty much his legs had been ... am­pu­tated, at the very top of the leg. The con­di­tions weren’t very good there … ” she said.

The man thanked the group for vis­it­ing and told them what he was do­ing.

“He said, ‘I pray ev­ery day to God to pro­vide a wheel­chair for me,’ ” said Ms. Runyon, of Fay­ette.

Hear­ing the man’s prayer re­quest was enough to touch the hearts of the vis­i­tors. Upon re­turn­ing, Ms. Runyon had the good for­tune of run­ning into Cecily Rohrs of the Arch­bold area at the Pizza Stop in Fay­ette.

“I was talk­ing to Cecily about my ex­pe­ri­ences and I re­lated that story to her. … It just kind of touched us that we could do some­thing about that wheel­chair,” she said.

Ms. Runyon said the man’s un­bend­ing faith was also some­thing that pro­pelled her to help him find a solu­tion. After hear­ing more, Ms. Rohrs sprang into ac­tion.

“There the man was, smil­ing. If this man is smil­ing, for me, at­ti­tude is ev­ery­thing. And this man’s at­ti­tude said to me, ‘This is what it takes,’ ” she said. After mak­ing a few calls, she found that Tri-State Med­i­cal in Wau­seon was will­ing to do­nate a wheel­chair to the man.

“I didn’t even have to convince them,” Ms. Rohrs said, add­ing that the shop helped them fig­ure out the man’s height and weight so they could get him a chair that would work best for his body.

Com­ing up with the money to ship the wheel­chair to Ukraine wasn’t a prob­lem, ei­ther. Ms. Rohrs is part of an in­for­mal church group that of­fered to help raise some of the money af­ter Ms. Runyon talked to the group about her ex­pe­ri­ences.

Last week, both women found out that the wheel­chair was ready to be shipped out.

“I imag­ine it’s go­ing to be a sur­prise,” Ms. Runyon said. “I don’t think the gen­tle­man has ever been told. It’s been kind of one thing af­ter an­other, and God’s just kind of opened the doors and Cecily’s had the con­nec­tions at this end.”

 



Guidelines: Please keep your comments smart and civil. Don't attack other readers personally, and keep your language decent. If a comment violates these standards or our privacy statement or visitor's agreement, click the "X" in the upper right corner of the comment box to report abuse. To post comments, you must be a Facebook member. To find out more, please visit the FAQ.

Related stories