Ordinary People Acting as Heroes for Disabled Children
Newly designed shoes, special clothing, and 3D printing are just a few of the ways that people are helping disabled children work past their physical limitations
Mindy Scheier, creator of the nonprofit organization Runway Of Dreams, was inspired by her son, Oliver. Oliver was diagnosed with a rare type of muscular dystrophy that can make daily tasks, such as getting dressed, difficult or even impossible. Scheier recalled one morning when Oliver wanted to wear a pair of jeans to school. Scheier could not bear the thought of telling her son that he could not wear jeans when so many of the other children at school wore them with no issue. That’s when the light bulb went off.
Runway Of Dreams’ clothing items are designed to make dressing easier for those with physical limitations.
First, the closures on the different pieces of clothing use MagnaReady magnets, which are safe and washable magnets that were created for use in apparel.
Additionally, all openings on Runway Of Dreams’ apparel are adjustable–pant legs, sleeves, and waistbands are resizable to obtain the best fit possible.
Finally, Scheier designed the clothing so that it was easier to put on–for example, by having openings in the back of shirts instead of requiring that they be pulled on over one’s head.
Recently, Runway Of Dreams launched a campaign with Tommy Hilfiger to bring more fashionable, easy-to-wear items to those who need them most. Scheier says that this is just the beginning of making a positive change in the fashion industry.
Other companies have caught on as well and are making significant changes to make their products more user-friendly for the physically disabled.
For example, Nike has introduced three shoes that use FLYEASE entry systems. These shoes implement a wraparound zipper to secure the shoe on the foot. They also have a larger opening to make it easier to put the shoes on and take them off. Nike commented, “Once zipped, FLYEASE provides performance-ready lockdown without the need for tying laces–perfect for athletes on the go and for those who may need a little extra assistance.”
Matthew Walzer was 16 years old when he inspired Nike to develop FLYEASE in 2016. Walzer has cerebral palsy and asked Nike to design more accessible footwear, so that he could attend college without needing help tying his shoes every day.
Walzer commented, “At 16 years old, I am able to completely dress myself, but my parents still have to tie my shoes. As a teenager who is striving to become totally self-sufficient, I find this extremely frustrating, and at times, embarrassing.”
Thousands of volunteers with 3D printers have also stepped up to help those in need. One young boy, Ethan, was born with a deformed hand. He was frustrated because he was picked on at school, and he asked his mother, “Are there any other kids like me?” The pair got online, and Ethan’s mom noticed a comment from John Shull, who founded Enable Community Foundation.
Shull was browsing YouTube one day and noticed a video that showed how a South African carpenter had created a 3D printable prosthetic. Shull commented on the video, asking others who were willing to help to mark their locations on a Google map link he provided. Just seven pins popped up that first day; the number of volunteers has now risen to 7,300.
The hand is body-powered and is made of strings and plastic. Ethan’s mom recalled Ethan’s excitement when he got his hand in the mail. Ethan loved waving at everyone he saw. Remembering how he felt with his new hand, he was moved to tears.
While many people are born with some type of disfigurement, many others are caused be medical error. We feel that it is part of our service to our clients to stay abreast of new products and inventions available to help people with disabilities lead easier lives. These are just three examples of unique and life-changing inventions that are currently available. Interested in more? Check out our Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/theeisenlawfirm/. When working on medical negligence cases, we make sure that our life care planners create a plan that includes the newest products and services to assist our clients.
Contact our Cleveland attorneys if you or a loved one has been injured by medical negligence.
At The Eisen Law Firm, our Cleveland injury attorneys have more than 40 years of experience handling medical malpractice claims, including those that cause life-changing disabilities and demand the development of a comprehensive, cutting-edge life care plan. If you think you have been injured by a medical professional, call our office at 216-687-0900 or contact us online to set up a consultation.