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Hands Free Prototype Wheelchair Moves by Leaning Forward or Side-to-Side

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Wheelchair of the Future?

After four years of research and development, Kevin Halsall has finally unveiled his incredible new invention. The New Zealand native has created a hands free prototype wheelchair for his friend Marcus Thompson, who was paralyzed after a skiing accident. The OGO is a mix of a wheelchair and a Segway that balances on two wheels, adjusting and moving as the person sitting in the chair leans forward, backward, or side to side. Halsall, who is an engineer by trade, purchased a Segway, disassembled the device and then reconstructed it around a wheelchair.

“It’s one of the life affirming things that this machine does, it puts you in touch with your whole body again,” Mr. Thompson said.

The OGO has a top speed of 12 miles per hour and the wheels can even be swapped out for off-road capabilities. Its’ heavy duty battery gives it an expected range of almost 18 miles and the lightweight frame makes it easy to transport. The OGO is a finalist in the National Innovators Awards and is in the process of being made available for purchase. A price has yet to be determined, but Mr. Halsall wants to keep it as low as possible so the OGO is affordable for those who need it.

Watch the OGO YouTube Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zgat4a1TrEM

 To learn more about the OGO, visit their website at //ogotechnology.com.

 

Join MobilityWorks Pittsburgh for their 10th Annual Mobility Expo

On Thursday, October 8, 2015, join MobilityWorks of Pittsburgh for their 10th Annual Mobility Expo. The event will take place at our MobilityWorks Pittsburgh store located at 1090 Mosside Blvd. in Wall, PA from 11:00 AM-4:00 PM.

The special one-day event will honor our veterans for their service, as well as bring together a unique blend of personal wellness advocates, mobility experts and transportation solutions under one roof.

The day will feature more than 20 exhibitors, entertainment by Whiskey 101, catering by Steel City Steakhouse and special event specials and discounts. For more information, or to register for the event, please call 412-824-8220.

September is National Service Dog Month

Service Dog

Each September we recognize the many service dogs who provide assistance, protection, companionship and confidence to their owners.

Service dogs serve those with debilitating medical conditions; from autism to blindness, seizure disorders and hearing impairments, diabetes and those who need physical assistance, and they also serve our wounded warriors suffering from conditions like PTSD, traumatic brain injuries, and mobility issues.

National Service Dog Month was first established in 2008 by actor and animal advocate Dick Van Patten.  Van Patten was inspired by a visit to the Guide Dogs of the Desert facility in Palm Springs, CA. After learning of the costs and times involved in training a service dog, he initiated a fundraising drive to benefit guide and service dog training schools throughout the country.

The fundraiser through time grew into an annual celebration honoring the extraordinary work service animals do each and every day for the people they care for.

Many service dog organizations have two objectives; to provide a trained companion animal for people in need and to save an animal’s life by using rescue animals for this work. With thousands of dogs dying in shelters every year, it’s a perfect partnership.  A 2013 statistic indicated that more than 380 rescued dogs were placed in jobs that saved their lives and benefited the person they now serve.

MobilityWorks Helps Veteran Shannon Daniels Regain His Freedom

MobilityWorks of Marietta GA Helps Air Force Veteran Shannon Daniels Regain His Freedom with a Wheelchair Accessible Van

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Recently, Fox 5 News Atlanta aired an I-Team investigative report on Air Force Veteran Shannon Daniels’ struggles with his local Veteran’s Affairs (VA) office.

Shannon is a combat veteran who was injured during the Gulf War. Though classified by the military as “permanently and totally disabled”, Shannon still had the ability to walk. However; last Fall, when he was involved in a motor vehicle collision, he was left with disc herniation, spine pathology and rotator cuff tears. As a result, Shannon is now completely paralyzed from the waist down.

Shannon’s VA doctor approved him for a motorized wheelchair to help him get around. However, the VA rejected his request for access to special transportation to pick up that chair to bring to his house.  After nine months of effort with no resolution, Shannon reached out to Fox 5 for help.

Fox 5 was able to connect with the VA who apologized to Shannon and ensured him that would work to rectify the situation.

Meanwhile, Tasha Chitolie and other staff members from our Marietta, GA MobilityWorks location saw the Fox 5 news segment on Shannon and wanted to help.

The team knew of a woman who was looking to sell a used wheelchair accessible vehicle. After hearing about Shannon’s situation, she generously decided to donate her vehicle to the veteran.

Earlier this week, MobilityWorks was able to present the vehicle to Shannon, who says he now feels like he has his life back.

Shannon’s caregiver can transport him in the vehicle. In the future, he will also look into the possibility of being able to drive the vehicle himself.

In addition, MobilityWorks also presented Shannon with a motorized wheelchair to use to get around more easily until he gets his own custom electric wheelchair from the VA.
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MobilityWorks was proud to be able to be a part of giving back to one of our Veterans. Thanks to Shannon Daniels and all of our military service men and women who have dedicated, and are dedicating, so much to our country.

 

19 Year-Old Paralympic Athlete Mary Kate Callahan Competing in Chicago Triathlon

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Mary Kate recently posted the fastest time ever for a female Para 1 (wheelchair athlete) in a half Ironman event .

“Never, Never, Never Give Up!”

Never give up. That’s the message Mary Kate Callahan continues to preach. The inspiring 19 year old, T8-T10 paraplegic is on a quest and has made training for and competing in Triathlon and Ironman events her life’s passion.

A La Grange, IL native, Mary Kate has been paralyzed since being an infant due to a virus that settled in her spinal cord (known as transverse myelitis). Today, she is a University of Arizona psychology student competing at the highest levels of athletic endurance and doing what she loves: racing! She represented the United States as the youngest member of Team USA at the 2012 & 2014 World Triathlon Championships. Her recent sporting travels have taken her to Mexico (winning a Silver Medal) and to London, where she won a Gold Medal at the London ITU World Triathlon.

On July 11, Mary Kate posted the fastest time ever for female Para 1 (wheelchair athlete) in a half Ironman event at the Muncie Half Ironman World Championship. She will soon be competing in the World Triathlon Championships coming to Chicago this September 15-19. In all, more than 6,500 of the world’s best triathletes will compete for world titles over four days of competition. Go to the Chicago Triathlon website for more information.

What’s next after the Chicago race?

“I will be regrouping and training to prepare for the Louisville Ironman in October,” said Mary Kate. “Because of your support, I have been able to follow my dreams and compete on an international stage… your kindness will not be forgotten.”

We wish Mary Kate continued success as she comes back to her hometown of Chicago… and in Louisville Kentucky in October!

For more information on Mary Kate’s events and future plans, go to //marykatecallahan.com/.