ROB'S STORY: MISSION TO ADVENTURE
Minnesota native Rob was an avid sportsman, passionate about cross-country skiing, camping, climbing, sailing, canoeing, and all things outdoors.
Rob never imagined a devastating rafting accident would leave him with a major spinal cord injury (SCI). To this day, Rob remains active with his rehabilitation therapy, but limited solutions exist for him to train outside his care center. Since his injury in 2011, he has been active in roles for SCI advocacy with Get Up Stand Up to Cure Paralysis (Co-founder), Unite 2 Fight Paralysis, and the United Spinal Association. Rob, along with others, was able to secure $6M for SCI research in Minnesota.
Rob wanted to do more beyond advocating for policy. Using his industrial engineering experience and his unique perspective as a quadriplegic, Rob joined the Abilitech Medical team to help create an assistive device that helps him and others regain independence.
ERIKA'S STORY: RECLAIM INDEPENDENCE
Erika graduated from law school 25 years ago and was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis six years later.
Despite the relentless nature of the disease, the support of Erika's colleagues and clients allowed her to continue working even as she lost the ability to walk and drive a car. But now that the disease has spread to her upper extremities, she can no longer interact with her computer, which has forced her to begin transitioning her clients to other attorneys in her law firm.
"Abilitech Medical’s powered orthotic has the potential to help me regain the ability to manipulate a computer mouse and, even more importantly, regain the independence and dignity that comes with being able to feed myself."
CAYDEN'S STORY: BEING ME
Cayden was born with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) Type II, a genetic neuromuscular condition that affects muscle strength and ability. The disease progression begins in infancy, often as early as six months, and slowly deteriorates the muscle tissue and decreases the mobility of major extremities. Typically, the ability to stand and walk is the first major motor function loss.
Though Cayden’s condition has progressed and his mobility within his wheelchair is limited, he is still energetic and optimistic. He loves video games, spending time with friends, and being around his family.
For Cayden, the Abilitech Assist has the potential to greatly improve his sense of independence. Having the ability to feed himself, interface with a phone or a computer, even drink a glass of soda with a friend after school, would allow Cayden to be more socially and physically engaged with his family and his peers.