Laura's Wheel Chair

Laura is one of the strongest and smartest person I have ever met. She is a living miracle who has faced innumerable health challenges starting at the young age of one. After she had started standing up, her mom realized there was something odd in Laura's demeanor. When running some medical exams, it was discovered that Laura had a tumor on her spine. The doctors successfully operated on her to save her, but it left her a paraplegic in a wheel chair with extreme scoliosis (90 degrees of curvature) for the rest of her life.

However, a wheelchair and extreme scoliosis did not slow Laura down. Before she graduated with honors at the Industrial University of Colombia, she was awarded the opportunity to be an interchange student at the University of Oklahoma with all expenses paid. She was later given a Fullbright scholarship to get her Master's degree at the Southern Illinois University. After getting her Master's, she went on to  Illinois University to work on her doctorate, where she is right now,  thanks to another scholarship. 

 Unfortunatly, Laura’s back issues started to catch up to her. The extreme curvature of the spine was crushing her heart and lungs slowly every day. To save her life, the doctors performed a strenuous 10 hour spinal fusion that inserted metal rods throughout her spine to hold her back up. The operation was successful and she is now on the road to a painful recovery.

While thankfully her insurance was able to cover all the costs of the operation, it was unable to cover one important aspect of her recuperation.

With her new straightened body, Laura’s wheelchair is no longer usable. She falls straight out of it because it is no longer shaped correctly and her muscles have not yet adjusted to the new back shape.

Laura needs a new wheelchair and soon. It will have to be custom fit and will cost approximately  $4000 dollars. With a new wheelchair she will be able to feel safe and comfortable within her daily activities. Without one she will be stuck indefinitely.


For Laura, she needs two things:

First, please keep her in your thoughts and prayers. Trying times can feel lonely and any heartfelt gestures will go a long way.

Second, please consider donating $10, $25, $50, or even $100. With this money she will be able to be independent once more. Laura will be forever grateful. She cannot wait to be mobile again.


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  • Colombian Student Asociation at UIUC 
    • $217 
    • 43 mos
  • yohn sepulveda 
    • $200 
    • 44 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $30 
    • 44 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 44 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $20 
    • 44 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Ana Maria Johnson 
Fredericksburg, VA
Laura Valderrama 
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