dorothy-God had another plan

Story Submitted by Dorothy

viable-dorothy“Congratulations, it’s a beautiful, healthy, baby girl!”  My parents held me with pride on that November day in 1957.  Only a short 8 months later, their little girl was barely hanging onto life, her body being consumed by a virus called polio.

Prayers from a devoted grandmother are why I am alive today.  I was the 23rd child to be afflicted with the virus secondary to a defective injection.  How many came after me, I don’t know.  80% of the 23 died from the virus, but for my life God had another plan…

The virus left me without the usage of my lower extremities, further complicated by scoliosis.  But in spite of all of these obstacles, I live a very viable life.  My career path began in the 1980’s as a partner in Capable, a company that fabricated artificial limbs and orthopedic braces in the Washington area.  My business partner and husband at the time, was himself an amputee.  Together we were able to model viability to those recently impacted by the loss or use of part of their body.

Divorce took me back to California where I once again, was a partner in a printing company named, Digitec.  During this season of my life I served on the Board of Directors for the Hayward Chamber of Commerce and served as President on the Board of, Print Image International of Northern California.  I met my husband at an Organization named Community Resources for Independent Living, where I served as a Board Member as well.  Through our marriage we were blessed with 2 beautiful children.

Cancer took the life of my beloved husband after a 3 year battle with the disease.  This brought me face to face with single parenthood, which necessitated a career path change yet again.  But this change was my favorite, in fact I considered it a ministry.  I taught piano lessons from my home, which later became an apartment when I could no longer afford the overhead of a home.  It was such an honor to develop the musical gifts of so many children, and each of them touched my life in wondrous ways.  My prayer is that each of them will utilize their gifts to worship God.

It was also during this season that my family became acquainted with the Joni & Friends Organization.  We attended our first family camp back in July of 2005.  My purpose was to expose my children to the fact that they are not the only children in this world who have a parent with a disability.  My children were very reserved and suspicious, but these walls were soon replaced by love in a form they had never experienced before.  And over the years they have developed life long friendships with others whose lives are impacted by disability.  (Dorothy’s son, Walter is featured in the story, “justin-a much needed reminder”

Fatigue and other factors associated with my disability have me in yet another period of transition for which I know God has a plan as well.  I have recently completed my diploma in Biblical Counseling from Light University, and am returning to college in January to pursue certification in addiction counseling.  I am also taking a course in Stress and Trauma Care with a military application, men returning from war and their families.

God doesn’t usually call the equipped, he equips the called, and I believe He is calling me in this direction and equipping me with the tools that I will need to effectively minister His healing, comfort, hope, and viability.

So, as I look back on all of this, I have to say, “Yes, I am viable!”  God had and continues to have, a plan and a purpose for my life.  I have made a difference in the lives of others in many, many ways, some of which I’ll never know.  God’s ways are not our ways, and are often mysterious.  Jesus chose a donkey to carry Him into Jerusalem, and He chose my wheelchair to carry His message over 2,000 years later, although I would have preferred He had chosen a Corvette …

About editor

Kara Ferris is the Executive Director and editor of Wife. Mom of 3. Lover of people. Connoisseur of espresso. Master of Crazy Hair. Heart that beats for Jesus. Passion for those with disabilities, bringing honor, value and raising awareness of God’s intent and purposes for EVERY life. Blessed beyond imagination.


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  1. Dorothy is one incredible lady, and has raised two truly wonderful kids! What a blessing this story was!

  2. Beautiful story and a beautiful woman. We’ve been blessed by her son Walter greatly!

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