Ms. Sheeba George, born as the eldest of three children of Mr. K.C. George (Late) & Mrs. Molly George, from Kottayam, Kerala, South India. At the age of 16, she noticed difficulty raising her arms above her head and getting up from a squatting position. In 1988, she had a consultation with a Neurologist at Apollo Hospital, one of the leading hospitals in Chennai, South India. Initial Neurologic examination revealed weakness and wasting of the muscles of the shoulders, upper arms and was then diagnosed as Limb-Girdle Muscular Atrophy. She then had slow progressive, difficulty with activities of daily living but she was able to accomplish them on her own. Due to the progressive weakness of muscles, gradually she started using a walker to help her walk initially and later started using wheelchair.
On May 2007, she moved from India to United States to live with her mother. She had a neurological consultation for opinions regarding the diagnosis of Neuromuscular Disease at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital, Philadelphia and after the couple of physical examination and genetic testing confirmed the diagnosis as FSHD Fascioscapulohumeral Dystrophy. According to Medical Science this is one of the nine types of Muscular Dystrophy, a group of genetic, degenerative diseases primarily affecting voluntary muscles, progresses slowly with some periods of rapid deterioration. There are no medications or cure for this disease.
Sheeba is a member of Muscular Dystrophy Association in USA. She received medical insurance and Personal Care Assistance benefits through the Government program.
After coming to USA, due to her health condition, she could not work. Her mom being the only working individual in the house did not have enough income to meet all the expenses and rent an apartment. She and her mom started praying to God asking for guidance for them to live independently without being a burden to anyone. God answered their prayers through a government agency program called Personal Care Assistance where she was able to get home care and her mom was getting paid for taking care of her. The benefit with this home care, allows individuals with disabilities to enjoy safety, security, and companionship in the comfort of their own home instead of sending them to nursing homes. This was a great help for them to live independently, and by God’s grace this support continues till today.
In India, we do not have all these facilities and most physically challenged are neglected by their family members as well as by the society. They are helpless and are not able to get a job for themselves. There is no accessible transportation for them, and they do not get any benefits from the government. They are human beings just like us created in the image and likeness of God. They should receive love, care, respect and they also deserve to live a life with dignity.
In USA, people celebrate Thanksgiving Day and takes time to thank God for His constant grace and for all the material possessions man enjoys. On November of 2008 on the Thanks giving Day while thinking and thanking God for his great ways and his wonderful provisions that she has received, Sheeba had a desire in her heart to help the physically disabled by giving them a monthly support to the eligible low income families of the physically challenged to provide them with home care.
Even though, she could not work and was not getting any regular income because of her immigrant status, she started helping people by faith. Initially, the main source of support was from selling Christian Audio CDs of her friend a song writer Lizykutty Rajeev, who lives in Bahrain who published her songs for the Glory of God. Lizykutty gave Sheeba permission to make copies of her music Cd and to distribute them freely. The CDs were distributed to the members of Philadelphia Full Gospel Assembly Church (PFGA) initially, where she attends the service regularly. The members extended their support by giving $5, $10, and $ 20 for the CDs and that money was used to start this ministry. Since then, many have extended their hands and have made contributions towards this ministry.
By the grace of God, from November 2008 to till this day this ministry is active and is successful with the support of family, church members and many friends.
All Glory and honor to God Almighty.