We are on the return journey. Delaware here we come. Here’s a bit of what we did in Washington:
But wait. We came for a reason. It wasn’t poke hunting. It wasn’t lunch on Gig Harbor. It wasn’t the wonderful time we had with our Seattle friends and kind hosts!
We really had a wonderful trip but the wonder is not why we were here. Here is why we were here:
On Monday Ryan casted Nick to make a mold of Nick’s leg and foot. Just meeting Ryan Blanck was pretty cool. It was maybe 4 years ago that I read about him and the IDEO. I didn’t imagine that Nick would be getting the device at age 13! When I first read about it I thought he would need it as an adult. I am so grateful it is available to civilians now!!!
We also had the chance to tour Hanger and it was amazing. Everything is made on site. It is remarkable. The gym is the center of the facility and there were people working out with prosthetics and ExoSym’s. It was so cool to see people using the device! Just being there and feeling all the hope that had been building and realizing Nick will have this device was emotional for me and Nick talking about his hopes for the ExoSym made me emotional as well. He is so ready to not have his leg limiting him!
I also met Pam and Koreen who I had been emailing with for the last two months or so and to realize that they are the office staff and doing everything themselves, was humbling and made me wish I had been more patient and I said so.
Trying the test device on Tuesday was an interesting process. As Nick stood and walked Ryan made adjustments until Nick was pain free when walking. This test device worked at only 40% of what the actual ExoSym will and already Nick felt a huge difference. The while process was quite technological and it was fun to see Ryan thinking and working things out, trying this and that and watching Nick move and understanding the way Nick’s leg currently works and what it will be able to do once he has the device.
I am feeling super sleepy now so this post will likely get an edit or two eventually. I just can’t fully express how grateful I am for this entire experience. I am so grateful that Nick will get this device. The insurance part is not worked out yet but it will be. I feel so sure of that. I am beyond grateful to Jen and her family for welcoming us into their home. It made it feel like a very different trip I am sure. It was wonderful to have someone to go home to and connect with. Jen’s presence was such a comfort to me and added another level of enjoyment to the trip.
Sleepy me is just basking in the gratitude as Nick fights for a Pokemon gym. Just another success to add to our list from our amazing SEA GIG adventure!