Tri-Cities doctor and “Hope to Walk” helping people around the world walk again


A Tri-Cities doctor is on a mission to provide affordable prosthetic legs for those in need.

The organization Hope to Walk provides hope to people around the world who cannot afford a standard prosthetic device.

It all started by word of mouth.

“A friend told me the story of taking a prosthetic leg to a boy in Guatemala,” said Dr. Michael Mabry, Hope to Walk Chairman who works at ETSU Family Medicine in Bristol, “they had to raise money and put it all together and after they gave Mario the leg, 20 other kids showed up without legs and said, ‘I want help.'”

That’s when Mabry knew he had to get involved.

“The Lord has a way of pushing me into things,” he said. “I met Phil [Johnson] and I just asked him, ‘how can we help those people, and he and I just started.'”

In 2015, Hope to Walk was born. 

“There’s 30 to 35 million people in the world who need prosthetics,” said Mabry, “but don’t have access and so you can imagine if you lose your limb and you don’t have a job, you’re just sitting at home depressed, and so we can come in with a solution.”

The non-profit, based out of Blacksburg, Virginia, has a mission to give low cost prosthetics to amputees living in poverty.

“Our vision is really to develop our prosthetic model and train people in other countries so they can help themselves,” said Mabry.

The prosthetic takes less than $100 to make, but is given free of charge to those in need.

“This prosthetist is made with fiber glass,” said Terry Graybeal, American Board certified prosthetist and orthotist, “it has a coupler on the bottom and then we foam that up, put a PVC pylon on it, and the foot is made out of wood and crepe.”

“This does last, it will last these folks a long time,” Graybeal added.

So far, Hope to Walk has served people in Honduras, Guatemala, Togo and Vietnam.

“It’s unbelieveable,” said Mabry, “they come in, they roll in depressed and a few hours later they walk out a different person.”

The next step for Hope to Walk is to develop above-the-knee prosthetics and club foot braces.

The organization is also in need of volunteers looking to serve.

To learn how you can help, visit Hope to Walk’s website by clicking here.

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