I sustained a spinal cord injury at age 20 in 2012 and discovered the world of neurological physical rehabilitation. I trained alongside individuals with brain injury and stroke, all of us working toward recovering bodily function through hard work. In 2015 I moved across the country. I was still doing therapy for a spinal cord injury but shortly after the move, I found that the new clinic in my city did not have the means to do gait training with me, and my recovery regressed.
It was in this environment that I realized there was a lack of affordable and effective gait training therapy tools to assist with repetition of steps to help restore function and physiologic well-being. I began developing a tool that made it possible for me to practice taking well-formed steps with one other person (the clinician). I realized that this tool could also work for many people of vastly different ability profiles. It could work for practically everyone at my clinic, and other clinics I had visited.
I named this tool the Spartan. Having something really useful to share with the world motivated me to start my company, ReneGait. ReneGait designs and builds tools aimed at transforming the health, spirit, and future of all people living with a neuromuscular disability such as spinal cord injuries, stroke victims, and all those with severe neurological impairment such as cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, and other temporary or lifelong motor neuron disease.
Now, the Spartan, among other tools we are developing at ReneGait, is a game changer for people who are currently living with some form of neuromuscular disability. I visit rehabilitation clinics fairly regularly to give demonstrations and see how they are doing with the Spartan. Our Spartan users consist, almost without exception, of individuals who have suffered a disabling injury or event recently, and who are fighting hard to recover bodily function. Spending time in such company has a profound effect on me. You know how the saying goes, “You are the average of the five people you spend most your time with”? Well, I love that my job puts me around people fighting to overcome their physical disabilities daily.