When you became a new parent for the first time, what were some of the things you couldn’t wait to do with your new baby?
Was it bathing them for the first time? Feeding them their first meal? Watching them sleep in your freshly painted nursery? Or was it just holding them in your arms?
There are many firsts with our children that we often take for granted. And we don’t always realize how difficult it is for some new parents to experience the simplest of pleasures, like taking their baby for a stroll.
That was the case for a woman named Sharina Jones from Detroit. Jones has been confined to a wheelchair for more than 30 years after she was involved in a terrible accident at only 5 years old. And while time has certainly helped her learn how to live a normal life, there are still certain things that present their own unique challenges.
One of the more recent challenges was figuring out to how take her baby on a walk through the park. While there are literally hundreds of different strollers available to accomodate all different sizes and terrain types, none of them would work for Jones.
Why? Because pushing a stroller seems like an impossible task when both hands are necessary to navigate a wheelchair.
But this is where we now get to introduce a 16-year-old high school senior named Alden Kane. With the help of a high level S.T.E.M. class (science, technology, engineering and math) Kane took on the challenge of engineering an adaptable baby stroller for Jones.
Three main factors became the driving force behind the design: safety for the baby, independence for the mother, and comfort for both. Kane spent more than six months on the project, which incorporates lightweight steel tubing and a special carrier clamp that fits onto her wheelchair.
The day finally arrived where they tested it for the first time with Jones. But when Kane saw his new carriage with a baby inside, it made all of his hard work well worth it.
After a few adjustments, mom and baby were able to enjoy a simple walk in the park with friends and family, just like any other new parent. This might not seem like a big deal to some. But it’s the moments like these, with your baby near your arms and the open air around you, that can become the greatest memories of a lifetime.
And in case you are wondering where Kane is taking his invention next: so far his new carrier has been a huge success in testing. In fact Kane plans to keep refining his prototype and has already started applying for a patent to his life-changing invention.
Something tells us we haven’t seen the last of this aspiring inventor.