Free Wheelchair Mission Welcomes Azusa Pacific University Professor to Board of Directors

Department of Physical Therapy Chair Dr. Susan Shore joins leadership team of Irvine-based nonprofit.

Irvine, CA, September 04, 2019 --( Free Wheelchair Mission (FWM), a humanitarian, faith-based nonprofit that designs and manufactures cost-efficient wheelchairs for individuals living with a disability in under-resourced nations, welcomes Susan Shore, Ph.D., P.T., to its board of directors. Dr. Shore currently serves as Professor and Chair of the Department of Physical Therapy at Azusa Pacific University (APU.)

A graduate of the American Physical Therapy Association’s Educational Leadership Institute, Dr. Shore began her career as a physical therapist and instructor in the United States and Canada. She later served as coordinator of rehabilitation services for a Russian nonprofit, before working for World Vision in Romania as a coordinator of projects for children with special needs. She joined the faculty of APU in 2001, where she currently oversees the curriculum for the Doctor of Physical Therapy program and ensures compliance with outside accreditors.

Dr. Shore’s expertise has proven instrumental in FWM’s development of wheelchairs and wheelchair provisioning materials. In 2008 and 2012, she conducted studies on the quality of life before and after one receives a FWM wheelchair. Both studies demonstrated the wheelchairs had positively impacted recipients and their families.

“We’re delighted that Dr. Shore has moved from friend and supporter of the organization to board member,” said Free Wheelchair Mission Board Chair Stuart Rattray. “She has been a valuable, longtime advisor and can provide much-needed research and insight into what our wheelchair recipients need to live their new life of mobility to the fullest.”

The U.S.-based nonprofit has distributed 1.2 million wheelchairs in 93 countries. It was founded by Don Schoendorfer, Ph.D., a biomedical engineer who was inspired to develop a cost-efficient, durable wheelchair after witnessing a woman with a disability, crawling across a dusty, bustling road, while vacationing in Morocco. He began building prototype wheelchairs in the garage of his home in Santa Ana, Calif. in 1999.

In 2017, Free Wheelchair Mission reached the milestone of one million wheelchairs distributed and now is pursuing its goal of reaching the next million by 2025.

About Free Wheelchair Mission:
Free Wheelchair Mission (FWM) is a humanitarian, faith-based nonprofit based in Irvine, Calif. that designs and manufactures cost-efficient, durable wheelchairs for individuals living with disabilities in under-resourced nations. FWM collaborates with a worldwide network of like-minded partners that facilitate wheelchair distribution in 93 countries. FWM provides renewed dignity, independence, and hope through the gift of mobility at no cost to the recipient. Just $80, the cost to manufacture and deliver one wheelchair, can change a person’s life forever. Founded in 2001 by Don Schoendorfer, Ph.D., the organization reached the milestone of distributing one million wheelchairs in 2017. FWM currently intends to distribute the next million wheelchairs by 2025. For information or donations, visit
Free Wheelchair Mission
Jennifer Walker