July 7, 2016

As a direct result of the generosity from supporters near and far, an Indego® Exoskeleton Therapy Kit valued at $175,000 has arrived on our doorstep at the Bridging Bionics Foundation. For our clients who never imagined they’d walk or even stand again, we are able to offer the hope of greater mobility and independence. Because of you – our outSTANDING believers and donors – clients of the Foundation will rise up, stand tall and walk, and lives will change.

With extreme humility, I write this to both thank our donors and update everyone on the Race2walk2016 / Indego Exoskeleton Capital Campaign that was so nobly supported.

Last June, our capital campaign kicked off with Race2Walk2016, inspired by Kelly Hayes. Race2Walk began as a notion that, in his 60th year, Kelly could complete something he had conjured and christened “The Running Decathlon.” Ten races, half as fast as the standing world record in each, on the tracks where the records were originally set. Race2walk2016.com was born with Kelly’s quest as a platform to raise the funds to purchase a new bionic exoskeleton for the clients of Bridging Bionics Foundation, and help them walk.

As days fell into nights, and the months wore on, donations came in. Kelly went to Europe and the United Kingdom with his wife, Linda, and ran six of the ten races (100m/200m/800m/1500m/Mile/5000m), many on the actual tracks and all in the cities of the records. Inexplicably to Kelly, he went six for six in his goal times. Four races remain.

The team at Bridging Bionics set their sites on a new therapeutic exoskeleton named the Indego Therapy Kit from Parker Hannifin, valued at $175,000. We aspire to provide access to the most innovative technologies for our clients to enhance neuro-recovery.

Exoskeletons are a clinical reality for neuro-rehabilitation, and through adding an Indego exoskeleton to our equipment inventory, our program will stand alongside the top rehabilitation centers in the world. It’s important that our clients with neurological mobility impairments have new mobility options, while enabling our therapists to better accommodate individual client needs. Our current Ekso® exoskeleton, which is affectionately named Tucker, will continue to serve our clients with various neurological disorders, including higher level spinal cord injuries (T3-C7 ASIA D). Tucker has endured walking hundreds of thousands of steps with our clients, which prompted the capital campaign and acquisition of a new robotic device.

Like the Ekso, the Indego Therapy Kit enables clinicians to conduct over-ground and task-specific gait training. Indego offers features that set it apart as a tool for therapy for those with spinal cord injuries, including a lightweight modular design (just 26 lbs.), functionality (it’s versatility allows clients to wear their own shoes for training inside and outside on uneven surfaces), intuitive controls with a wireless operation, fast charging light weight batteries that allows continuous extended use, and a variable assist mode that offers clinicians innovative gait therapy options. Future advancements will enable our therapists to offer an even more efficient therapy regimen. Parker hopes that Indego will soon be FDA approved to ‘turn on’ its functional electrical stimulation capabilities, and by early 2018 they hope the device will be FDA approved for individuals with mobility impairments who have sustained a stroke.

Together we celebrate our success. Thanks to Kelly Hayes and his ingenuity with Race2Walk2016, and to the participation of many generous donors, we are proud to announce that as of June 1, 2017 our capital campaign goal was achieved. A total of $178,163.26 was raised and the Indego exoskeleton was ordered.

Thank you for keeping our community walking. Bridging Bionics offers access to new technologies like our Ekso and the new Indego as a community benefit. We are proud to help others for we are all made for mobility. After sustaining a chronic spinal cord injury, we are able to get our clients back on their feet sooner so we can look forward to improved outcomes. We are here to restore an element of hope and bridge the path towards neuro-recovery.

Together, we did it!