Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Visiting the Rifton Factory!

Since Mary started school over a year ago, we've been searching for a suitable seating system that will allow Mary to sit up in the classroom and be able to interact with her peers and do her schoolwork.  We needed something that can offer Mary enough support in both the head and trunk to allow her to sit upright, but at the same time allow her to recline if she starts to have respiratory trouble.

As you can imagine, this is no small task... there are many chairs out there, but few of them meet the specific needs of an SMA Type 1 child.  Many kudos to my wife Kate for not giving up the search, despite many roadblocks along the way.  Recently, one of our physical therapists at Inspire, named Debbie Engle recommended we contact a seating specialist named Jean Minkel, who suggested we look into the Rifton Activity Chair for Mary.  Kate made contact with Rifton ( which specializes in adaptive equipment for children and adults.  It turns out that the company is located less than an hour from our house!!! So, they invited us up to let Mary see the chairs being built and to try one on for size...

From Rifton

Well, Mary did great in the Rifton Activity Chair and loved meeting the friendly people at the factory!

Here is a video of the chair:

Here are some pictures of Mary in the chair:

From Rifton

From Rifton

Here is a picture of Kate, Mary and I with the Physical Therapist and one of the VP's of the company.

From Rifton

As a mechanical engineer, it was a treat for me to see all of this amazing equipment being designed, built, and assembled on-site by amazing dedicated and talented workers.

We were all blown away by the kindness and generosity of the people at Rifton and in turn the workers at the factory were very excited to see someone like Mary using one of the products they've worked so hard to design and build. At the end of our visit, they offered to let Mary to take chair that she tried home!! Again, we were absolutely blown away!!

Thanks to Joe, Deborah and everyone at Rifton for your kindness and generosity!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Daddy Daughter Dance!!!

Daddy asked Mary to go to a daddy-daughter dance with him!  Of course it takes a lot of prep work to get a girl ready for a big date like this...
 Mommy got to do Mary's nails!
Smile Mary!
Beautiful Nails!
Jackson helped Mary make some homemade pizza!
Of Course a girl can't dance on an empty stomach!

All dolled up!
Ready to go!
All dressed up!

On the way into the Dance!  Mommy had to say goodbye...

The first friend we saw was Josie!

Dancing the night away!
It was very hot in there!  Look at the sweat on Daddy's forehead!

Mary dancing with Hannah!

Of course Jackson, not to be outdone, had to get fancied up as well!!!
 Mary and Daddy had a wonderful time and made memories that will last forever!  Mary said she was a little disappointed they didn't play Hannah Montana or Robbie Ray music, but she said they did play Katie Perry which she thought "was a little inappropriate for little girls..."  Oh how her wonderful mind works!!!