Fifty-eight dollars per month.
But for Cristela Flores, it is. And that is what it costs her to rent a wheelchair.
Or at least it did, until the Knights of Columbus stepped in.
“That is gas money or grocery money,” she said.
On Tuesday afternoon, Richard Rodriguez gathered with his fellow Knights of Columbus to offer a chair to Cristela.
Cristela has been plagued by cerebral palsy since birth. She was born with her left eye crossed and was unable to walk without braces or crutches
Cristela has been living in the Beeville area since 1982. A 1990 graduate of A.C. Jones High, she overcame numerous obstacles and earned her master’s degree from Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi.
In 2005, this newspaper featured her in a front-page article.
“Education has been part of my life since I was very young,” she told a reporter then. “I don’t see myself doing anything other than education.”
She committed to that goal and is back at Coastal Bend College, where she is not only a lab assistant but also a tutor and a teacher during the college’s Upward Bound summer program.
“I feel like I have a lot to share with people,” she said back in 2005.
It was a bit of struggle to switch chairs, but Cristela smiled as she settled into her new wheels.
Unfortunately, this is one of only a couple the group has left to offer.
“I had this one loaned out,” he said. “They just gave it back to us.”
The timing was perfect, because items like this go quickly.
Rodriguez is hoping others might have wheelchairs they wish to donate.
“Anybody who has wheelchairs, walkers or shower seats that they can give us would help,” Rodriguez said.
He said that they even recently got a call of a medical bed that someone no longer needed.
About that same day, he got a call from someone who needed one.
As Cristela chatted with the Knights, who were there outside of Our Lady of Victory Church that afternoon, she remembered that another friend of hers could use a chair.
“I have two left,” Rodriguez said.
Anyone wishing to donate can call Rodriguez at 361-343-2394 or the church at 358-0088.