Jordan has a towel challengeAfter Jordan’s awesome opportunity to present at a Maker Health event with the Health and Human Services Department’s Idea Lab, MedStar Health and the National Institutes of Health, we had a chance to meet some fabulous people in the maker world. They’re making sure Jordan’s work isn’t done! Her ideas have more opportunity to expand with the help of others.

This weekend,  TOM (Tikkun Olam Makers) is teamed up with Nova Labs to hold the TOM:DC Makeathon for Assistive Technology. Jordan was invited to participate as a “Need Maker” in the event even though we don’t live in the area. (The event is happening in Reston, Virginia.) Instead, she’s drawing out her vision and created this video to explain a challenge.

This has been an on-going problem for Jordan. Those two-handed dispensers are a big pain when her hand and little arm are wet. I don’t want her to skip hand/arm-washing just because the public bathroom she visits has the wrong kind of towels.

I’m excited to see what the makers can do to build off of Jordan’s vision! I promise to report back as soon as possible.

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This sponsored post is brought to you by the Muscular Dystrophy Association. All opinions and experiences are my own!

MDA Camp Food SmilesI know the life-long impact a summer camp can bring to a child’s life. Ever since Jordan started attending Camp No Limits when she was three, I’ve watched her develop into a confident and VERY strong person.

My commitment to her camp experience is a big reason I had a chance to visit another special summer camp last week.

The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) partnered with me and a handful of other bloggers to visit an MDA Summer Camp. 4,000 kids with muscular dystrophy or a related life-threatening disease that takes away physical strength and mobility have an opportunity to attend one of about 75 camps held across the country at no charge to their families. It’s pretty incredible to see the combination of heart and financial support to make it happen.

Campers canoe at MDA campI got to hang out with the campers in the Quail cabin. It included five girls who are seven or eight-years-old. Three were first-time campers. One camper told me this is her third year. Unlike a lot of summer camps, each camper is given her own camp counselor. That guarantees each camper’s health needs are closely watched and supported while making sure every child gets a barrier-free environment for fun.

I visited on a day where many of the campers and counselors were decked out in togas. The cafeteria was full of smiles and giggles and all kinds of camp traditions. There are chants and songs and dances all over the room. This isn’t a camp where the kids are focused on a diagnosis. They are focused on fun and living everything to the fullest. That includes life skills and learning many things the kids may not have realized was possible.

MDA cafeteria fun

My campers had a morning full of fun on the water. We had the chance to fish and canoe and play in the sand. That was followed by swim time. Pools offer an escape for a lot of kids with muscular dystrophy. The water allows their bodies to feel free from some of the physical limitations that come as their muscles weaken. The camp I visited had a fantastic ramp that made it possible for each kid to enter the pool without struggling. Counselors helped guide their camper into the water. It was a little swimming parade. Every kid was smiling, splashing and at some point, water guns came out and any of us sitting on the side became a target. Classic camp stuff.
MDA water fight

MDA spends all year raising money to make sure kids can attend camp. It takes $2,000 per child for all of the details to come together. The organization also spends a lot of time raising money for research and care that will help kids and adults with muscular dystrophy live longer, stronger lives.

Your LiveUnlimited MDA Camp

This image of an MDA camper helped donate $5 to help with the MDA’s #LiveUnlimited campaign.

I know camps like MDA Summer Camp create a special bond between the kids who attend. The kids know they aren’t alone. There’s a confidence that stays with them through the year. That confidence stays with them as they grow up. I can’t wait to share a story of a young woman I met at camp. She’s proof of the camp’s importance. You’ll get to read about her tomorrow.

If you’re interested in supporting the Muscular Dystrophy Association, there’s a really easy way. Through July 31st, you can raise $5 just by uploading a photo to #LiveUnlimited website.

It’s a simple first step to making an impact in the lives of kids who deserve it!

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Project Unicorn Spreads Glitter Across DC

July 14, 2016

Sorry for the time gap, but I felt the need to take a little break from posting last week… and I have so many stories to catch up on telling. The kids had a chance to take a huge one-week adventure in Washington, DC and New York City with me. Jordan, Cameron and I made […]

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We always try to #LiveUnlimited

July 12, 2016

Today is a special day. I was invited to spend a day at one of the nearly 75 week-long Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) summer camps in the United States. I will get to meet some of the campers and learn about how camp makes a positive impact on their lives. I know the importance of summer […]

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Some people cannot learn. Others are ready.

July 11, 2016

After this past week, I feel the need to write from my heart. I moved a lot as a kid and lived in many similar communities in the Midwest and East Coast. Each time I moved, I would review the life lessons I learned. Was I kind? Did I do anything wrong that I can […]

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Tiny Design Issues Matter – Jordan’s iPhone Challenge

June 30, 2016

Last year, Jordan was lucky enough to get a family hand-me-down iPhone 5 to use with wifi. It gave her a chance to take pictures, FaceTime and text me while I was out fo town for work travel. If you’ve followed us this year, Jordan’s grown up a lot this year. She’s communicating design ideas, meeting […]

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Let’s #InventHealth – Born Just Right on Display in DC

June 23, 2016

Today is a big day for Born Just Right! We are in Washington, DC this week. Thanks to the combination of my travel for work and the fact that it is summer break, Jordan and I fell into a really cool opportunity. We were invited to share Born Just Right’s mission and Jordan’s Project Unicorn […]

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Celebrating Differences in Finding Dory

June 20, 2016

Leading up to the release of Finding Dory, I heard so many tales about how special needs played a big role in this movie. But I wanted to see it to believe it. This Pixar movie series has been an important part of our special needs parenting lives ever since Jordan was born. Nemo and […]

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Speaking and Sharing Camp No Limits

June 9, 2016

Months ago, we were invited to a local Kiwanis Club meeting to share the story of Born Just Right and all the cool things we do in the limb difference community and beyond. I didn’t realize how crazy our life would be, but it is so fabulous to have a chance to see Jordan develop […]

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American Girl: Limb Different Dolls Are More Important Than You Think

June 3, 2016

I hope you’ve seen the video… Emma opens an American Girl doll box and discovers the doll of her dreams: A doll with a helper leg just like her. A Step Ahead Prosthetics started making alterations on American Girl dolls earlier this year. It’s remarkable how special this can be for kids. My heart is […]

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Project Unicorn on display at Maker Faire

May 25, 2016

Jordan had the fastest, most intense weekend in the San Francisco area. But it ended with all kinds of memories and a successful new prototype for Project Unicorn. We were in the state for a full 44 hours and I’m pretty sure we made the best out of every minute. After arriving at midnight and getting […]

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Get Ready, Maker Faire – Glitter is Coming

May 13, 2016

After getting back in town from Walt Disney World Resort, there was no time to waste! Jordan met up with her design partner, Sam Hobish, to talk about how their project is going. Where is it going? Well… It’s going back to San Francisco where this project started in the first place! Jordan and I […]

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Dream Big, Princess Innovator

May 12, 2016

My head is still spinning a little after this past long weekend. Jordan was given a one-of-a-kind invitation by Disney Parks: To receive a special award for her innovative work in the limb difference community. It’s a part of a campaign called Dream Big, Princess. I’ve written time and time again how I consider Jordan […]

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A Special Visit to Orlando

May 5, 2016

Jordan and I are on our way to one of my favorite places in the world: Walt Disney World! We’re taking part in some very special things this weekend and I can’t wait to share all of the details. One detail I can share right now is our chance to attend the Invictus Games Opening […]

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An Upworthy Moment to Share

May 4, 2016

Yesterday, Jordan and I had a chance to do an interview with a local magazine. During the conversation, I was asked how I feel about Jordan’s recent success in sharing her efforts to raise awareness about physical differences. It’s a question no one has asked before. All of this very kind attention is based on ten years […]

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