Beautiful People

I ran into this lovely lady in Rockville. 


Obviously, she has a disability, but I was so impressed with her. 


She had this cute dog sitting on her lap while in her wheelchair. 


And the wheelchair had this awesome colorful mosaic in the wheels. 


She seemed to be with family that loved her.


They stopped to stay hello and permitted me to take a photo. 


I was so inspired by them.


There are truly beautiful people in the world and they make the world a wonderful place for all of us. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Robotics Help The Paralyzed Stand And Regain Mobility

Some of the best work being done in robots to help disabled people is from Dr. Amit Goffer of the Technion University in Israel. 


ReWalk is a robotic battery-powered exoskeleton with motorized legs and hips that enable paraplegics to walk, turn, and even climb and descend stairs again–and is FDA cleared as of 2014. 


And UPnRIDE is a wheeled auto-balancing robotic device that enables quadriplegics to stand and be mobile. 


The inventor, Dr. Goffer, is himself paralyzed from the waist down due to an accident 20-years ago.


This has inspired him to create these absolutely amazing robotic devices to assist all disabled people who are wheelchair bound. 


Approximately 1% of the people are wheelchair bound that’s 70 million


And surely, many more especially in the developing world need wheelchairs and don’t have them.


So these amazing robotic devices have the incredible capacity to help so many people stand and regain their mobility and dignity again. 


These are nothing short of miraculous and a new beginning for so many people suffering from spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, palsy, strokes and more


Being able to stand again is not only psychology healthy and helpful for mobility, but it may aid in preventing secondary conditions that wheelchair-bound people can suffer, such as osteoporosis, diabetes, heart disease, loss of lean mass and difficulty with bowel and urinary functions.


ReWalk has also received approval for coverage from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for those qualifying and with spinal cord injuries. 


Hopefully, this is just the beginning for helping people around the world. Mobility is life! 😉


(Source Photo: here with attribution to The Times of Israel)

Beach Wheelchair

Beach Wheelchair.jpeg

This was really nice to see.

Someone invented a beach wheelchair.

Thoughtful for people with disabilities.

Not sure how well it actually would work to try and push this over the sand dunes.

But I credit people for trying to help other people.

Too often, we only think of ourselves.

It’s inconvenient to think of those with less or with problems and in need.

But when we come out of or own heads, we can uplift ourselves as well as others to the beach or wherever else they want to go. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Someone I Know And Didn’t Know

Be Batman

So this is a true story…


I am on the crowded metro coming home from the office, sitting facing backward and toward the middle of the car. 


There is some noise and rustling coming up from behind me, and I see people’s heads turning and startled looks on their faces. 


I turn around to see what is going on…


Someone in a wheelchair is screaming to get off the train. 


However, he is caught about halfway in between the closing metro doors, and can’t get back in or out and off the train. 


There is one guy who was apparently standing by the doors, and he is trying to get the door open, but can’t budge it.


Everyone else on this busy train seems just frozen, almost as if time had stopped (really). 


But the double train doors are wedged into the larger and smaller wheels (for hand turning) on the side of the wheelchair. 


The person in the chair is still calling out for help and to be released from the clasp of these heavy doors around him–in his seated position, his lower torso from his thighs down are positioned outside the train, but his upper body is still on the train. 


The conductor is trying to move the train again and again…and it’s not apparent whether the failsafe mechanism for the open door will work as the train is lurching forward and the doors are sort of vibrating in this quick open/close fashion. 


Then, I see someone spontaneously jump out of their seat.


They are racing to the wheelchair jammed in the doors.


I see them first try and push open on the left side…but it’s still not budging.


Then, they try and pull the other, right side, open towards them…but it’s to no avail as the forceful doors are wedged in on around the chair. 


With everything around them a blur of seats and faces, the person turns their head looking around for another way…


They see like a target standing out in the distance, an emergency intercom on the front wall of the train.


The person lunges toward it and hits the round button.


The conductor who is still fidgeting with the doors to get them closed and trying to move the train ever forward comes hastily on the speaker, but apparently not connecting the call to him with what’s going on with the doors and wheelchair says “Yeah, what’s the emergency?”


The person catching himself, musters the words to say into the comm device, “There is a wheelchair stuck in the train doors– OPEN THE DOORS!”


The conductor immediately reacts and the doors pull apart from both sides, and the wheelchair almost falls forward, the disabled person sort of thrown from the train, but finally on the platform, and wheeling themselves as quickly as they can towards the elevator to get away from this whole situation. 


With nothing left to do, the person who helped, let’s out a deep breath and is visibly shaken, but also glad to see the person in the wheelchair safe and on their way. 


As he is walking back to his seat, he realizes there are a lot of eyes on him that were just a blur before. 


At the same time, over the speaker system comes the relieved voice of the conductor with a simple “Thank you.”


I see the person sit down, calling his wife to tell her what happened, he starts to silently cry. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

A WOW Wheelchair

A WOW Wheelchair

Absolutely loved the article and video in Bloomberg Businessweek on the Tankchair.

Brad Soden makes these amazing ruggedized wheelchairs for wounded veterans and other disabled people in need of getting around some rougher terrain.

They are customized for each user and cost about $15,000 each.

They are built on tank-like treads and can go up stairs, through fields, across streams, and over snow.

“Basically, it’s get off the couch and go enjoy life!”

They are tough and can last 15-20 years!

He first made one for his wife who was paralyzed from the waist down in a car accident and was having difficulty keeping up on a family camping trip.

Soden is truly inspirational–he produces these not too make money, but too help people.

“The body can’t keep up, so we’re gonna fix it.”

This is an awesome man making an extreme machine. 😉

(Source Photo: Tankchair)

Rock The House

Alright, this Jewish kid from the Bronx is not the biggest club guy.

But, we had a special event at the Light Club in Vegas and it was pretty awesome.

The Great: the lights, dancers, special effects, and overall venue at the Mandalay.

The Okay: Prefer an even higher tempo and energy from the music for more of the time.

One amazing human element that I saw at The Light was someone in a wheelchair on the dance floor surrounded by his friends, all having a good time.

Overall, I am finding Vegas better than what they advertise…guys, for almost $10B in gambling revenue, you can certainly find a better marketing and branding firm.

As DC is to politics, Vegas is to entertainment, but DC gets all the news coverage (more often bad than good), and Vegas needs something more than Sin City. 😉

(Source Video: Andy Blumenthal)

Walking Tall Again

CNN has a video out today on this amazing new technology for paraplegics.

It is a miraculous robotic exoskeleton called the ReWalk by Argo Medical Technologies in Israel.

The inventor, Dr. Amit Goffer, is himself quadriplegic and asked a simple question, “Why is a wheelchair the only answer for those with spinal injuries?”

He challenged the status quo and now there is a way for paralyzed people to stand and walk again.

I choose this video for the blog, because I found it so immensely inspiring to see someone previously wheelchair-bound participating in a marathon in Tel Aviv this year.

The ReWalk is strapped on and has motorized joints and sensors and a battery pack.

When combined with some braces, a person has mobility again on their feet!

I cried when I saw the patient, Radi Kaiuf go over the finish line after walking 10 kilometers with the ReWalk and everyone, including the children on the sidelines, cheering for him.

Congratulation to all the researchers from the Technion University who helped make this a reality–hopefully people around the world, who are in are in need, will be able to benefit in the future and walk again.

Truly, mobility is life! 😉