by Joseph H. RADDER
John Wollenschlaeger was born in a time when there wasnt much hope for cerebral palsy patients. But hope is exactly what filled Johns heart and today, at 73 years young, he continues to defy the odds.
John hasnt let his lifetime confinement in a wheelchair deter him from his deep
love of sports. He never thought hed have the opportunity to bowl. In fact, the
first time he tried it, John only knocked down a total of 12 pins for the entire game.
John kept at it though and eventually started a handicapped bowling league that still
meets every other Saturday during the season to play.
A son of German immigrants, John grew up on the East Side of Buffalo. Over the years
John got to know Fr. Baker, and John realized that his purpose in life was to contribute
something of himself to society. John is grateful for the ability to express himself
through words and actions, which many cerebral palsy patients are not able to do. As a TAP
(Telephone Assurance Program) volunteer, John calls local homebound elderly to provide
them with companionship through conversation.
A pinochle player, John enjoys travelling to Las Vegas. He even met and spoke with
Wheel of Fortunes Vanna White during one visit.
Johns wit and sense of humor continue to be an inspiration to all those who know
Joseph H. Radder is a freelance writer.
Back to Home Page