Showing posts with label Disabled. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Disabled. Show all posts

September 18, 2019

Aging Gracefully

So as we age, we've got to cope with a different reality.

Our bodies and minds may start to deteriorate. 

We can't do all the same things we used to do (even as we can maybe do others). 

There can be a deep sense of loss as abilities, things, places, and people that were critical to us for many, many years may no longer be present with us. 

When I used to speak with my aging father about he and my mom getting older, he would joke and say:
Yes, we're getting older--what's the alternative?

Then the other day, I ran into a nurse from the Jewish Social Services Agency (JSSA). 

We chatted briefly about the good work they do in helping so many elderly and handicapped people.

And then she says to me about how she herself is starting to feel what it's like to get older, and that she often tells her mom that everything hurts to which her mother responds:
You're not supposed to leave this world alive!

Putting these together: 

I suppose we all need to do the best we can to age graciously ourselves as well as help others in the process--because there is no alternative to aging and no one leaves this world alive. ;-)
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March 6, 2017

Respect The Disabled

So coming home tonight on the Metro train... 

People were switching trains in downtown D.C. 

Getting off from one train and going up the escalator to catch another. 

Every night people literally race up the escalator to catch their next ride. 

Some pushing their way on past the laggards. 

Others yelling for the people in front to "move it!"

Tonight, there was someone riding up the escalator on a wheelchair and holding unto to both sides to keep the chair from tipping over or literally rolling down backwards. 

(Usually the people in wheelchairs take the elevator and this was the first time I saw someone on the escalator riding it like this.)

So while I was expecting the people to start acting up on the escalator, running for the train on the platform.  

Instead, when they got to the wheelchair, they stopped and silently rode up with deep respect for the person holding himself steady.

There wasn't a peep or a shove. 

I could see people missing their train, but they were thankful for their health and respectful of the man in the wheelchair. 

Honestly, I was pleasantly surprised and proud that there is still some human decency out there and that is cause for hope. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 7, 2016

It's Not Easy

So I went for a haircut yesterday evening.

And when I walked into the Hair Cuttery, there were a number of mentally disabled people waiting there. 

3 had already gotten their haircuts, and 1 was still in the barber's chair. 

One of the 3 said hello to me and started conversing with me even though he  had obvious difficulty getting the words out. 

There was an open chair between them, and he even offered me to sit down with them, which I did. 

I asked about him and he told me the others we're his roommates.

I asked how he liked his roommates and he gave a big smile, nodded, said how nice they were, and while pointing to them started to introduce them and encouraged them to speak with me as well. 

I could see as they interacted and later got up how they shared some challenges, but also how each clearly had their own unique difficulties to deal with--for example, one was stooped and went along with a limp, while another was more reticent and seemed openly annoyed by the others trying to get his attention. 

When it was my turn for the haircut, they were heading out and a couple of them waved goodbye to me. 

I said goodbye back and was sad seeing how difficult people's lives are. 

It strikes me that even for those in the healthiest states, life can be very difficult at times.

So I imagine how much more so for those with physical and developmental disabilities--the things we take for granted can be extremely difficult for others to navigate around, reach, manipulate, read, hear, understand, speak, and do.

Life seems unforgiving at times. 

My daughter said to me that while it's natural for people to look out for their own self-interests, really we all need each other to survive and make it. 

Our self confidence in our stand-alone capacities is really just an illusion. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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December 28, 2015

Social Inequality To Make You Sick

Here's a copy of the sticker price on the car in the lobby of the local mall in Florida here. 

Oh, it's just a 2016 Rolls Royce for a mere $362,225.00

The car was unbelievably gorgeous.

But the extravagance of it compared with the regular poor, hungry and homeless people on the streets as well as the vast majority of all the other everyday middle class people is enough to make you want to puke. 

Immediately after this, when we got back to the hotel, the maid was still in the room cleaning up.

I had the opportunity to see--really see--this lady--this person. 

She was overly respectful, calling me sir numerous times, unnecessarily. 

She was kind in finishing the room quickly and asking if their was anything else we needed.

But I also noticed that despite her labor-intensive job cleaning up other people's shit in the hotel rooms, she had a bum leg and had trouble walking and just getting around. 

I thought to myself why was it that this poor lady was destined to have to clean my and other people's hotel rooms for a grueling living.

The next day, I saw some mini shampoo and conditioner containers that had fallen to the side of the tiny garbage can in the bathroom (didn't make the shot).  

I looked down--I thought for a split second, that's what the hotel get's paid for to clean up and service the guests--but only for a SPLIT second.

Then I bent my own stupid ass over, and picked up the bottles and put them in the garbage where they belong. 

The lady coming to clean the room doesn't drive a Rolls Royce and definitely, neither do I. 

We are one under G-d, and may he bless us all in prosperity, health, and peace. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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September 27, 2015

Evil Cannot Be In Charge

So I am having to reconcile some interesting things in my mind. 

Hating and liking. 

For example Iran, led by dictators and extremists, is perhaps the epitome of the "Axis of Evil" and the arch enemy of America and Israel

Iran suppresses the freedom and human rights of its people, is the leading sponsor of world terrorism, denies the Holocaust, and threatens brutal attacks on America and to annihilate Israel. 

Yet, on a personal level I have had the opportunity to meet a number of Iranians that I really like and respect.

These include amazing colleagues at work, and wonderful members of my synagogue as well as neighbors. 

One Iranian family I met just this morning was simply amazing.

The father had a horrible stroke earlier in the year. 

Today, I saw the father wheeled to the swimming pool by his son. 

The son took his father lovingly into the water and worked with him therapeutically to help him on regaining as much mobility as possible. 

I stopped to speak with them, and the man's wife told me that the son, who was a PhD in mechanical engineering from Texas came every week to Washington, D.C. to work with his stricken father. 

The son told me that although he was not a therapist worked hard with his father on physical and occupational therapy, and I even saw his father laugh a little with his son in the water. 

The son held the father by a safety belt and his father put his hand on his son's shoulder as they walked forward and backwards in the water, and even did a little swim while his son held the belt tight. 

I was really impressed by this family and especially the love, caring, and devotion the son showed his father. 

Despite their troubles, the wife asked me how I was recuperating and smiled when I told her I was doing better. 

It's amazing to me how hate truly is blind. 

On one hand, what Iran stands for today led by extremists who seek religious domination, suppression and destruction of others, and a return of the Caliphate is a danger to its people and the world.

On the other hand, many of the people from the streets of Iran are surely some very good people.

We need to see the bad apples and separate them from the good ones. 

As a country, we need to support the freedom of the Iranian people and help those that believe in peace and fellowship. 

When evil is in a leadership position, then good does not follow, but rather is smothered until it is set free. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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September 21, 2015

Mindful Treatment Of The Disabled

What great brain at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) came up with the idea to curb access to prosthetics for the disabled?

What is supposedly driving CMS?

It's a half-wit effort to put a dent in fraud for lower-limb prosthetics --estimated at just $43 million relative to CMS's annual budget of close to $1 trillion!

Uh, doesn't CMS have anything better to do then pick on disabled people missing one or more legs?

The profound dumbness of the proposed CMS new rules would limit amputees from possible reimbursement for artificial limbs for example, "if they use assistive devices such as canes or crutches."

But isn't that precisely what someone who can't walk and is missing a limb would use???

Here's the next doozy...CMS would limit advanced prosthetics "if the device doesn't enable them to walk with the appearance of a natural gait."

OMG, this is too much!

People with disabilities who require help need it precisely because they are not "natural" in their mobility functions--that is what we are seeking to help them with. 

You're going to penalize someone from getting artificial limbs because they still can't walk completely normal with fake limbs like with real ones?

Moreover, if the Veteran's Administration adopts these rules, this will also affect our wounded warfighters. 

G-d (and the Secretary of HHS) needs to put some sense back in the minds of the people who, in this case, instead of helping the disabled are misguidedly working against them. ;-)

(Source Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)

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June 24, 2015

Disability Stories and Resources

Just wanted to share this great site called Disability Blog where people tell about their experiences of being disabled and how they have overcome the odds. 

It is hosted by Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy.


And it is the official blog of Disability.gov where there is lots of information on "disability programs and services." 


The blog site promotes the "full inclusion of people with disabilities in the workforce and communities nationwide."


Disability Blog posts guest bloggers on various topics and I read some of the recent posts and they were very good, including:


- Disability rights activism

- Small business loans and mentoring support with SCORE for a veteran with disability
- Resources and support from the Amputtee Coalition for a child that was hurt in a lawn mowing accident
- A courageous description of how someone lives with syndactyly (fused fingers).
- Options for workplace accommodations at the Job Accommodation Network

As someone myself who has had two total hip replacements, I encourage people to get their personal stories out there to increase disability awareness, rights, and resources and support to help them.


I used to dream about retiring one day and running along the boardwalk and ocean every morning in Florida, but I know that will not happen for me anymore (so thank G-d for swimming). 


Disabilities can happen to anyone. 


We all need to be sensitive to what it's like to be different and have unique challenges, and to try and help anyone who does.  ;-)


(Source Photo: here with attribution to Abhijit Bhaduri)

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December 19, 2014

Amazing Advances In Prosthetics


Watch this video...

Where a man who lost both arms over 40 years ago is fitted with these amazing dual prosthetics that he is able to control with his mind and muscle movements. 

Made with financing from the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA).

John Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab shows the possibilities for the future for helping everyone from Wounded Warriors to those disabled from accidents and disease. 

G-d creates and we imitate and together we make an incredible flourishing world. ;-)

(Note: My gratitude to Rebecca Blumenthal for sharing this video with me.)
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November 21, 2014

Homeless At Foggy Bottom

The homeless situation in Washington D.C. (as in other big cities in the U.S.) is horrible and tragic. 

The homeless person here is wrapped in a blanket trying to stay warm on her wheelchair. 

Further, her bucket, at her feet, for people to give is empty. 

The Thanksgiving holiday is this week, but where is the thanks and where is the giving?

Interesting...halfway down the block is GW Hospital and across the street behind this lady is a gorgeous, modern, brand new GW University engineering and science building (almost completed now). 

The haves, the have mores, and the have nots. 

Where are all the trillions of dollars of spending going..,that we can't feed, clothe, shelter, and educate our people. 

We need to do better as a society for providing care for the truly needy.

G-d is watching what we do and what we don't do.

Our test. and the test of our elected officials/leadership--will we/they stand up for those that can't? 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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November 3, 2014

Disabled Be Heard


Promising technology coming from Israeli startup Voiceitt.

Chosen by Wall Street Journal global technology conference as an audience favorite application.

This technology will help the disabled who have trouble speaking to effectively communciate with others. 

The application translates sounds and intonation patterns into words that can be understood. 

Victims of Stroke, Parkinsons, ALS, Cerebral Palsy, and Autism may benefit from this. 

The founder of the technology himself has two siblings with Cerebral Palsy and he is driven to personally address their challenges. 

Application is expected to be released 2nd quarter 2015.

To me, it is especially encouraging when we use technology to help the disabled live a fuller and more comfortable life.

Life is tough enough on people the way it is already, so if we can help make things better for those who are disadvantaged in any way, what a great, great thing to do! ;-)
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June 7, 2014

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)
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December 14, 2013

Radiating Goodness

So I met two amazing people today. 

The first was a lady with Multiple Sclerosis (MS).  

She told me her story about how it was her 30-year anniversary this year. And she said she had been diagnosed with MS only one year after her wedding. 

She almost cried when she told me that her husband had stayed with her all these years she was sick. 

First, she had a nurse at home to care for her, and then when the demands were too much, she got into the nursing home and has been there since May, which she said wasn't a long time and that it was good there. 

Talking with her, I was amazed at how good an attitude she had for someone that had suffered so much and for so long. She was also an incredibly nice person and said how lovely some of the other patients looked today and that they should eat something to keep up their strength. This lady was truly inspiring.

The second lady I met was a private nurse for one of the elderly patients in the home. 

She sat at lunch between the old lady she took care of and the other woman with MS. 

Yet even though she was privately paid by the elderly lady, I was amazed that when she wasn't caring for the old lady, she took the time and effort to care for the MS lady, whom she otherwise had nothing to do with. 

In fact, she was alternating in feeding one and then the other. Also, making conversation with everyone else at the table asking how they were, taking pictures with her iPad mini (she found a place that sells them for only $79!) and saying how happy her patient was looking today and making her smile (even though the patient seemed unable to even speak). 

It was truly amazing to see the caretaker generally caring for others, not just for the money or because it was her job, but rather because she could help and really wanted to.

I'll tell you, there are still good people out there--some almost angels. And when you find them, it is a miraculous experience. You can almost see G-d in them. Like the physical world is just an illusion, but these eternal souls are what's real--radiating goodness to every soul they touch. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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December 10, 2013

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! ;-)
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November 22, 2013

Listening and Blessings

Two reflections from this week:

1. Listen to understand:
I heard a colleague talk about the importance of listening. There wasn't really anything new about that, except he went on to say, "Listen to understand, not to refute or resolve." The more, I thought about this, the more brilliant I realized this was. How often do we either not really listen to the other person? And when we do listen at all, aren't we most of the time jumping to either refute what they are saying or resolve their issue? The key though is to listen to understand. Ask questions. Get clarifications. Only once you really listen to the other person and understand what they are saying, can you begin to address the thoughts and feeling they are expressing to you.

2. G-d Blessed You:
Usually when I see people asking for help/money on the streets, they have signs--handwritten, often on cardboard or the like--that says something about their plight. Perhaps, they are homeless, lost their job, ill or disabled, have kids to support...and they are asking for your help and mercy. At the end of the sign or if you give them some change or a few dollars, they say thanks, but also "G-d bless you" in the future tense. And this is really nice to get a blessing in return for some basic charity and kindness. However, there is one poor person begging in downtown D.C., and he says it differently. His sign asks for help and says, "G-d blessed you" in the past-present tense. First, I thought maybe this was just a grammatical mistake, but then I realized what he was saying. G-d blessed you, so please give back to others. This wasn't a thank you wish to the other person, but rather a reason that you should give to begin with. Recognize how fortunate you are (and maybe you don't even necessarily deserve it), but G-d blessed you, so have mercy and give to others. 

Hope these reflections mean something to you the way they do to me, and have a good weekend everyone!

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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September 21, 2013

Restoring Hearing Using Bionics



A mother wrote in the Wall Street Journal yesterday about the miracle of Cochlear Implants.

Lydia Denworth described when her 2-year old son, who is deaf, got these implants and how now he is now able to attend 5th grade in a "mainstream school" and is "nearly indistinguishable from the other children."

These implants allow her son, Alex, to have a conversation with another child about the hearing device that "can open up the world of sound and spoken language."

Denworth states at the end of the editorial, "Moments like that make me deeply grateful for the technology."

For me, reading this was an opportunity to go learn about the amazing bionics that has already restored hearing to 320,000 people!

While hearing aids amplify sounds and make them louder, they don't resolve permanent damage to the inner ear. 

A cochlear implant bypasses the damage by receiving sounds in a microphone, digitizing them, and converting them to electrical impulses that are sent directly via implant to the auditory nerves-- bypassing damaged or missing sensory cells in the ear--in a way that the brain can understand.

I am in awe of the inventors--Graeme Clark, Ingeborg Hochmair, and Blake Wilson--who are being recognized for their pioneering research leading to the development of Cochlear Implants.

Hopefully, soon we can do for sight, smell, taste, and touch what we can do for hearing and restore the impaired to fully functioning again.

We are living in a time of great miracles--thank you G-d!

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Bjorn Knetsch)
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September 9, 2013

Remember Those With Special Needs

This was an interesting sign at the swimming pool about handling sensitive gender issues with children.

The sign tells parents of "opposite gender children," over age 5, not to take them in the locker room with them.

Instead they are told to use a separate locker room for "special needs."

Then underneath, in the lower right corner, someone wrote in pen (it's light, so you may not be able to read it), "Ok, but then enforce handicapped changing room!!"

Having an accident recently and being on crutches and then a cane, I myself have developed a whole new awareness for how difficult the mundane can be. 

When I asked the doctor, why so-and-so happened to me, he said, "you're not getting any younger!"

It was really a wake up call for me. 

We don't always think of all the various special needs out there: people with handicaps, illnesses, and injuries of all sorts (physical, emotional, etc.), issues related to aging, single parents, orphaned children, people taking care of young children and/or aging parents, people newly divorced or bereaving, people out of work or "simply" changing careers or perhaps moving or even immigrating, and many more.  

There are so many situations which can create special needs for people. 

Often at work, I see announcements for groups that help people undergoing various life changes--creating these special needs. I glance at the information about the group meetings, but usually don't have or take the time to fully stop and really think about what these all mean for people and how it impacts them--both their personal lives and their professional ones. 

Seeing the signage reminding people to use special locker rooms when they need to deal discretely with children of the opposite sex or for changing rooms for those with disabilities...it was just another jolt for me to think of others and help them whenever possible. 

Sometimes when I see someone who is old or disabled going slowly down the street, I think to myself--even though I may be in hurry--that I should slow down and not pass them quickly, so as not to make them feel bad--and now when I broke my ankle, I realized it was my turn and had to go slow.

Everyone goes through times when they have special needs. 

The key is when we aren't special needs for a moment in time that we remember how fortunate we are and that everything is temporary--both good and bad. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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September 2, 2013

Warrior Augmentation

I love the direction DARPA is going in with robotic exoskeletons for our warfighters. 

Helping soldiers perform their jobs easier, more capably, and with less injury using human augmentation is good sense. 

Military men and women often carry weight in excess of 100 pounds for long distances and perform other tasks that challenge human physical endurance.

Creating a durable "soft, lightweight under[or over]suit that would help reduce injuries and fatigue and improve soldiers ability to efficiently perform their missions" is an smart and achievable goal, and one that would give us great advantage in the battlefield. 

The timeframe of 2012-2016 is an aggressive deadline to form the mix of core technologies, integrate them, and develop a wearable prototype. 

I think the goal of having this be "potentially wearable by 90% of the U.S. Army population" is notable as not something that is for just special forces or unique missions, but rather something that can medically protect and make for a superior fighting force for all of our men and women. 

This is really only the beginning of human augmentation with sensors, storage, processors, and robotics to make our warriors fight with the best that both man and machine has to offer. It's not a fight of man versus machine, but of man and machine. 

Seeing and hearing farther and with more clarity, connecting and communicating timely and under all conditions, processing loads of data into actionable information, fighting and performing mission with superior skills (strength, speed, dexterity, and endurance) and integrated weapon systems, guiding warriors to their targets and home safely--these are goals that man-machine augmentation can bring to reality. 

And of course, the sheer medical and rehabilitative benefits of these technologies in caring for the sick and disabled in society is enough to "pedal to metal" drive these efforts alone. 

Like on the prescient show from the 70's, The Six Million Dollar Man, "We can rebuild him. We have the technology...Better than he was before. Better...stronger...faster."

And I would add healthier and more deadly! ;-)

(Source Photo: here with attribution to DARPA and Boston Dynamics)


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August 28, 2013

Wheelchair Complexity

So my approach to enterprise architecture, product design, and customer service, as many of you know, is plan and simple, User-centric!

Innovating, building things, servicing customers, and communicating needs to be done in a way that is useful and usable--not overly complex and ridiculous. 

The other day, I saw a good example of a product that was not very user-centric. 

It was a type of wheelchair, pictured here in blue. 

And as you can see it is taking 2 men and a lady quite a bit of effort to manipulate this chair. 

This little girl standing off to the side is sort of watching amusingly and in amazement.

What is ironic is that the wheelchair is supposed to be made for helping disabled people. 

Yet, here the wheelchair can't even be simply opened/closed without a handful of healthy people pulling and pushing on the various bars, levers, and other pieces. 

If only Apple could build a wheelchair--it would be simple and intuitive and only take one finger to do everything, including play iTunes in the background. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)


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July 15, 2013

Those Are Some Prosthetics


Wow, prosthetics have come a long way--these are tough!

This video from Biodapt shows their high-performance Moto Knee being used in a variety of action sports including snowmobiling, motor biking, mountain biking, horseback riding, water skiing, snow boarding, and jet skiing. 

Bloomberg BusinessWeek (11 July 2013) explains how the Moto Knee has hydraulic components that provide "tension and range of motion for intense physical activity."

They cost around $6,000 and don't replace the regular walking version, but Mike Schultz, the developer understands the need for these advanced prosthetics having lost a leg himself in a 2008 competitive snowmobiling accident. 

I think it's wonderful that these high-tech devices are being made available for disabled people to be able to do a wide range of exciting activities. 

My hope is that as the technology continues to advance that we can have--like a person's legs--one prosthetic device that is adaptive for use in every day use as well as more intense activities and sports. 

It is hard to imagine people voluntarily trading their body parts for mechanical implants--but one day, in the not too distant future, these mechanical limbs will not only be a substitute for repair of real body parts, but will actually provide some superior capabilities--they will be used for body augmentation--and thus even be desirable by those who haven't lost limbs. 

What gives a leg up to prosthetics, as Hugh Herr in the Wall Street Journal (12 July 2013) put it is "that the designed parts of the body can improve in time, whereas the normal body, the biological body, degrades in time."

With regenerative medicine and replacement parts by design, more than ever our physical bodies will be just the transient vessel that houses our heart, mind and soul--that which really makes us, us. ;-)
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June 17, 2013

Wheelchair Kids

So I was swimming in the pool and noticed a dad playing with his kids in the shallow section. 

One kid--the littler and younger one--was swimming this way and that and playing in the water.

The other kid--bigger and older--was in a flotation tube, and she was clearly struggling.

First, I misinterpreted the girl wiggling around in the tube as her just jumping around and having a good time with it. 

Then, I saw she was uncomfortable and having some real difficulty, and I noticed the mini-wheelchair for a child parked at the side of the pool. 

I saw the dad go over to her in the water tube and help settle her, stabilize her, and he pushed her hair out of her eyes, and poured some cold pool water on her forehead and over her hair.

I held back tears watching the love of this father for his disabled daughter and for the challenges that the disabled regularly have to endure.

The girls little sister started to jump around her sister's tube and wanted to play with her.

The whole scene was sort of surreal. 

As it happened, a day later another man in the hotel elevator started talking about how he arrived at the hotel but had so many problems: he lost his wallet, his room had a flood and his family needed to be moved, and he was dealing with a six year old child with cancer. 

When I see these children suffering, I really feel emotional--they are too young and innocent to be so sick. They haven't had a chance to fully live and they can't look forward to the same things that other healthy kids can. 

That doesn't mean that they can't live purposeful lives, just that they have great challenges for little people.

I think how terrible it is to be confined to a wheelchair or bedridden--instead of being free to run and play. 

I hate seeing anyone sick and suffering, but with children it's worse, and I remember my dad telling me as a kid when times were tough: "If you want to see real problems [in life], we should go over to visit the children's hospital!"

He was right--I will never forget those words or the plight of sick and disabled children--may G-d have mercy.

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Joanna C. Dobson)
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