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!


Grandma Julie said...

What a neat company!

Jenna said...

Hi mary
My name is Jenna and I came across your site. You are a brave courageous fighter, and a real inspiration. You are smilen hero! I was born with a rare life threatening disease. My site:

Debbie said...

I am so excited for all of you and can't wait to see Mary in this chair!!

Stacie said...

I was at the Center for Courageous Kids this past weekend for MD/SMA weekend. I missed you all there! Just wanted you to know that Mary and your family are still in my thoughts and prayers.

--Stacie Marable
(Your CCK counselor, 2010)

ritesh said...

HI, my daughter Kavya also has sma type 1. It is so encouraging to see Mary do so many things! She is a beautiful and brave girl!
Is she not using an electric wheelchair now?
Kavya turned 3 yrs this yr and she has never sat up. I was wondering what to do and how to ease her into it..


Anonymous said...

I love the arm support. I am going back to school Monday and manufacture some!