Rita Torrao


Dad creates music album for his autistic son

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder that affects communication and behavior. Although autism can be diagnosed at any age, it is said to be a “developmental disorder” because symptoms generally appear in the first two years of life.

Dad creates hearing aids sleeves to his daughter

Mark’s daughter, Shameera, was diagnosed with partial trisomy 18 soon after birth. Trisomy 18, also known as Edward’s syndrome, is a rare but serious genetic condition that causes a wide range of severe medical problems, amongst them hearing impairment. At the age of two, Shameera had developed mild to moderate hearing loss, in addition to having a significant cognitive delay. She started using hearing aids and soon Mark realized how delicate they were.

Mom invents a special garment for her daughter who uses a wheelchair daily

Jennifer and her husband, John, are a happy couple with 11 children. One of their children, Zoey, suffers from cerebral palsy and depends on a wheelchair on a daily basis. Zoey loves playing outside with her friends, but she had problems keeping warm while sitting in her wheelchair.

Mother develops app for patients with autism

Autism is a complex neurobehavioral condition that includes impairments in social interaction and developmental language and communication skills combined with rigid, repetitive behaviors.

Therese’s son, Jack, was diagnosed with autism at 18 months, and she knows firsthand the difference early intervention can make with children with autism.

Cancer patient develops badge to use on tube

It is well established that fighting cancer is an overwhelmed mission. Not only for the disease itself but also for all the consequences from the treatments.
During his battle with throat cancer, James underwent radiotherapy. To attend the treatments, James used to take the London Underground, and found it really difficult to find a seat as he was not visibly unwell and could not speak because of his treatment.

Engineer invents pain-free lancing to help friend with diabetes

Diabetes affects millions of people around the world. People diagnosed with this disease have to control their blood sugar levels all the time. To do this, they have to lance themselves multiple times a day in order to obtain a drop of test blood. When doing this day-after-day, it can lead to a lifetime of discomfort, especially on bruised, calloused and progressively numb fingertips.

Mobile platform developed by informal caregiver aims to end family caregiver burnout

Taking care of a loved one can be exhausting. It’s not the actual demands of caregiving that cause burnout, but rather the accompanying mental anguish. And if not handled properly, that anguish can quickly snowball and lead to a variety of negative outcomes.
When Jason was helping his fiancée’s caring for her grandfather, he realised how hard it was to find trustworthy home care. This struggle was his motivation to develop CarePRN.
In 2015, he took his concept to a hackathon at TechTown Detroit and there, he developed his concept and his team.

Dad from Canada creates a special equipment so that his autistic son could ice skate and play hockey

For a hockey coach, having his kids on ice skating is an enormous pride. For Derek it couldn’t be more true.
Derek’s oldest son, Dillon, was diagnosed on the autism spectrum when he was two years old. At age seven he decided to try skating after watching his younger brother, Dawson.
However, teaching Dillon to skate was a big challenge for Derek.

“It’s risky, right? And he’s not a risk taker at all. So for the first eight weeks, he’d just kind of walk and then glide. I remember thinking, ‘how am I going to get him to take a stride?'”, Derek said.

India techie innovates wearable solution for lower back pain

Almost one in 10 people worldwide suffer from lower back pain and it has now been established that lower back pain accounts for a third of all work-related disabilities.

Vikram started suffering from lower back pain in 2015 and after a forced four months brake from work he decided to do something.
“My body just gave up. I began experiencing severe upper back pain because my muscles had swollen up. I couldn’t type on the keyboard because I felt pain in my shoulders. It was unbearable,” said Vikram.

Muscular dystrophy patient creates automobile firm that makes e-scooters

Muscular dystrophies (MD) are a group of inherited genetic conditions that gradually cause the muscles to weaken, leading to an increasing level of disability.
Naidhroven, an MBA graduate, was diagnosed with MD at birth. Moving from one place to another was always an issue for him and that was when his father made him a small scooter. “My father was an engineer,” said Naidhroven. “He made a scooter for me by watching several videos online. He bought the parts from various manufacturing firms he knew,” Naidhroven recalled.

Young girl creates a platform to empower children who are acting as caregivers

Alzheimer disease is a devastating neurological disease not only to the patient as to the family and friends around him/her.

Dad uses virtual reality to help his daughter who suffers from Williams Syndrome

Williams Syndrome is a rare genetic disease that is characterised by mild to moderate intellectual disability or learning problems, unique personality characteristics, distinctive facial features, and heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) problems.

Craig’s daughter, Imogen, was born with Williams Syndrome, compromising her learning skills and concentration. Craig realised that using a virtual reality (VR) headset was a big help for his daughter.

“I noticed how well she adapted to it... So I knew she’d like to see more.”, Craig said.

Mother creates a machine learning system to monitor her son’s diabetes

Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is a devastating chronic disease that is estimated to affect 80 000 new children each year. This disease is characterised by an impairment on the production of insulin by the pancreas, resulting in high levels of blood glucose levels in the body.

Multiple sclerosis patient develops map to help people with disabilities

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a condition which can affect the brain and/or spinal cord, causing a wide range of potential symptoms, including problems with vision, arm or leg movement, sensation or balance. When Jason had his MS diagnosis at age 25 he decided to start documenting his disease progression on camera.

“I wanted to capture this transformative experience—becoming disabled—in WHEN I WALK because I hadn’t seen it done before, and people need to see how a degenerative disease impacts the lives of those living with it.”, says Jason about his documentary.

Mother develops products to alert about her son’s food allergies

Iris son, Ben, was diagnosed with several food allergies when he was 2 years old. When Ben went to preschool, Iris wanted to find an approach to protect him and teach him about his health concerns in a funny and non-intimidating way. She searched for an accessory that her son could use to serve as a personal and constant reminder of his allergies.

“I wanted to purchase something that would not only protect him but also make him feel good about himself.”, she said.

Arthritis patient develops gloves that help her to stand

Fighting cancer with chemotherapy can result in different types of secondary effects. For Jenny, this consequence was arthritis.
Suffering from arthritis in her hands, Jenny found her ability to renovate furniture with a high standard of quality was impaired, due to the pain and limited movement and agility that arthritis left her with.

“I had to find a way to overcome the pain in my hands.”, Jenny said.

Muscular dystrophy patient develops aids to help him on daily tasks

Despite living with limb-gridle muscular dystrophy, Mr Gemmell, a 70-year-old from Bethlehem, spent his life sailing and swimming. During the last years, he has designed and built aids to help him with daily tasks.

Young man with dairy intolerance develops line of protein bars

Daniel was diagnosed with lactose intolerance when he was 18. Living a busy Daniel as an entrepreneur, he failed to find a healthy option of protein bars. This was the trigger he needed to create the No Cow Bar, a 100 percent natural, 100 percent vegan and no artificial sweeteners protein bar.

“I basically decided to create the world’s healthiest protein bar and that’s what I did,” Daniel said.

Kidney patient creates Silly Kidneys to boost patients’ morale

Erin was diagnosed with a rare kidney disease, focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, when she was 6 years old. At age 9, after spending, lengthy periods at hospital for treatment, she asked the hospital’s child life specialist to help her build a pillow similar with her kidneys. This creation helped her to boost her morale and after another stay at the hospital, in 2017, she decided to help other kids with kidney disease to make their own silly kidney pillows.

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