Monday, July 16, 2018

Spotlight: Ryan Reed

In 2011, NASCAR driver Ryan Reed was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (T1D), which almost stopped him from pursuing a racing career. He worked with an endocrinologist to figure out how to manage his diabetes during races. Reed, age 24, won the 2015 Alert Today Florida 300 and the 2017 PowerShares QQQ 300, both at Daytona International Speedway. He drives the No. 16 Drive Down A1C Lilly Diabetes Ford Mustang, which contains a drink system and a blood glucose monitor on the dashboard. (A1C is a measure of the amount of hemoglobin with glucose in one's blood.) Reed and his family founded Ryan's Mission, a nonprofit based in Bakersfield, California, that raises awareness about T1D. He recently started the clothing line STGR with fellow NASCAR driver Ryan Truex. Reed came in eighth place last Friday night at Kentucky Speedway. For more information, go to ryanreedracing.com.

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Ryan Reed's car
(image via Wikipedia)

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Spotlight: Not Impossible

Founded ten years ago, Not Impossible Labs LLC is a company that creates technologies such as prosthetic arms and the Eyewriter (a hands-free art creation device) for people with physical disabilities in different parts of the world. Not Impossible also sponsors programs that serve the homeless and hungry and those without access to vaccines. The company tries to encourage action by sharing the stories of the individuals who are helped. The Not Impossible Awards are for individuals and organizations that apply technology for the betterment of others. For his efforts, Not Impossible founder Mick Ebeling has received several awards and was featured on CNN. Ebeling, who hosts a podcast, wrote a book titled Not Impossible: The Art and Joy of Doing What Couldn't Be Done. For more information, go to notimpossible.com.

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Mick Ebeling, Not Impossible founder
(image via youtube.com)

Monday, July 2, 2018

Book Review: "I'll Push You"

Yesterday, my parents and I completed our semiannual 1,200-mile road trip to Buffalo, so this is a good time to tell you about a book titled I'll Push You: A Journey of 500 Miles, Two Best Friends, and One Wheelchair. Published by Tyndale Momentum last year, this inspirational memoir chronicles best friends Patrick Gray and Justin Skeesuck's pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago, which is Spanish for "Way of St. James." A wheelchair user, Skeesuck needs help with activities of daily living because he has multifocal acquired motor axonopathy (MAMA), a rare neuromuscular disease with symptoms that are similar to those of ALS. To learn more about MAMA and to read an excerpt from I'll Push You, go to https://strongly.mda.org/multifocal-acquired-motor-axonopathy/.

Skeesuck was inspired to go on the Camino after watching a TV program about it. He asked Gray if he'd accompany him on this trip, and Gray responded with the following words: "I'll push you." After flying from Idaho, they started the Camino in St. Jean Pied de Port, France, in early June 2014. Gray and Skeesuck made several new friends who helped them along the way to Santiago de Compostela, Spain. Also a documentary based on the book, I'll Push You encourages readers to go outside their comfort zones and pursue their dreams despite their obstacles. It also displays true friendship, which is reinforced by the photo gallery inside the book. I recommend I'll Push You for readers with and without disabilities. More details on Gray and Skeesuck's journey can be found at https://www.illpushyou.com/.

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(image via illpushyou.com)

Sunday, June 24, 2018

RIP Charles Krauthammer

Conservative political columnist and commentator Charles Krauthammer passed away from small intestine cancer at age 68 in Atlanta, Georgia, last Thursday. Born in New York City and raised in Montreal, Canada, Krauthammer became paralyzed from the waist down after a diving accident during his first year at Harvard Medical School in 1972. Despite 14 months of hospitalization, he graduated on schedule with a doctorate in psychiatry. Krauthammer became the director of psychiatric research under President Jimmy Carter in 1978. Two years later, he was involved with the publication of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders III and became Vice President Walter Mondale's speechwriter.

In 1985, Krauthammer began writing his column in The Washington Post for which he won the Pulitzer Prize two years later. He was also an author and made multiple appearances on Fox News. Survived by his wife, son, and mother, Krauthammer didn't let disability stop him from having a successful career. For more information about him, go to https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/charles-krauthammer-conservative-voice-pulitzer-prize-winner-dies-68-n885581?icid=recommended.

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Charles Krauthammer
(image via Wikimedia)

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Spotlight: Center for Parent Information & Resources

With today being Father's Day, this is a good time to feature the Center for Parent Information & Resources (CPIR). CPIR serves as a hub of informational materials (in English and Spanish) for parent centers and families of children with disabilities. Users can observe archived webinars on various topics, subscribe to the bi-monthly newsletter Buzz from the Hub, and follow CPIR on Facebook and Twitter. The parent training and information center that serves Brevard County is the Parent Support Network (PSN) Project located in Dunedin, Florida (fndusa.org/contact-us/programs/psn). To access all of the resources from CPIR, go to www.parentcenterhub.org.

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The CPIR logo
(image via parentcenterhub.org)

Monday, June 11, 2018

Spotlight: ROTH Mobeli Grab Handles

ROTH Mobeli grab handles are used by senior citizens and other people with physical disabilities in the bathroom. Made in Germany, the grab bars are easy to attach to the wall by the bathtub or shower and the toilet. All one has to do is press the two suction pads with a 120 mm diameter onto a flat, non-porous surface and then press down the vacuum rocker arm to lock the grab handle in place. This is demonstrated in a Facebook video. The Mobeli holding grips include a safety indicator that shows whether they are secure after application. The grab handles are portable, so they can be easily removed from the wall and packed for travel. Mobeli also sells grab bar accessories. For more information, go to https://www.mobeli.com/.

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A ROTH Mobeli grab handle
(image via careprodx.com)

Monday, June 4, 2018

Spotlight: Morgan's Wonderland

Some families like to go to amusement parks this time of year. Unfortunately, these parks are not completely handicap accessible for children in wheelchairs. Morgan's Wonderland in San Antonio, Texas, is unique in that it is ultra accessible; even wheelchair users can go on the rides. This explains why Morgan's Wonderland (sponsored by Toyota) was selected as the 2017 Park of the Year by the newspaper Amusement Today. The park, opened in 2010, is named after its founder Gordon Hartman's daughter Morgan, who has a form of autism as well as physical challenges. Admission is free for people with special needs, so donations are needed to keep the park open. The Academy at Morgan's Wonderland, a school for students with disabilities aged 12-24, opened in 2011. Last year, an accessible water park named Morgan's Inspiration Island was added to Morgan's Wonderland. Extended summer hours for Morgan's Inspiration Island begin on Friday, June 8. For more information, go to http://www.morganswonderland.com/.

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(Image via Wikipedia)