We have a diverse team of writers on the EasyStand Blog. Here are our most frequent contributors! Want to write a post on our blog? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
NOTE: EasyStand does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your primary care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. The opinions expressed on this blog are that of the individual writers and do not necessarily reflect the views of EasyStand, or its parent company, Altimate Medical Inc, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to those living with disabilities.
Tiffiny Carlson – Tiffiny is the founder of Beautyability and a freelance writer for many other websites and publications. Tiff is a C5-6 quadriplegic and owns one of the first EasyStand models. Her favorite topics include relationships, adaptive products, and technological advances. She also has a monthly podcast featuring various people from the disability community.
Jennifer Thayer – Jennifer Thayer is the mother of Roa, whom has quadraspastic cerebral palsy and his younger brother Gunnar. She documents her experiences in CP Land on her blog, Roa Jo’s Journey. Jennifer holds a Bachelors Degree in Early Childhood Special Education, Master of Education, and is also a Craniosacral Therapist.
Luke – Luke is an L-2 complete paraplegic as the result of a military plane crash that occurred in 2006. His wife Jessie, another EasyStand contributor, is a cancer survivor and is living with several autoimmune disorders, including MS. Together, they share their unique insight as a married couple with the extra concerns of SCI, TBI, MS, & cancer, as well as parenting two children with special needs and a newborn daughter. Their favorite topics are relationships, parenting, staying healthy, and accessibility.
Jessie – Jessie is a survivor of Stage 4 melanoma and is currently receiving treatments for the lymphoma she developed as a result of chemotherapy and radiation. She also has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, scleroderma, lupus, and Celiac disease. Jessie’s husband Luke, another EasyStand contributor, has a spinal cord injury at the L-2 level and a TBI. Together, Jessie and Luke share their unique insight as a married couple with the extra concerns of SCI, TBI, MS, & cancer, as well as parenting two children with special needs and a newborn daughter. Their favorite topics are relationships, parenting, staying healthy, and accessibility.
Katy Blake – Katy Blake is an open and outspoken Southern girl who suffered an incomplete spinal cord injury (C5) as a result of a diving accident in 2010 at 23 years old. Despite many setbacks and struggles, she has been extremely proactive in her recovery by raising her own funds for the proper therapy that insurance refused to pay. In addition to her popular Facebook page, Katy has a website to host her blog and videos, as well as selling her own artwork, a passion that went undiscovered until 2012. Katy continues to document her recovery and has a humorous, no holds-barred approach to describing life with paralysis and the obstacles you overcome- the good, the bad, and the ugly. Find her online at www.RehabforKaty.org.
Blake Perkins – Blake is a doctor of physical therapy student, complex rehab technology provider, active NCART advocate, musician, and aspiring para-athlete. Blake is a T10 paraplegic as a result of a motorcycle accident in 2011. His posts offer the unique perspective and “wise” words of a stubbornly-independent twenty-something stumbling through the social, psychological, and physiological escapades of a wheelchair user. Blake calls Nashville, Tennessee home and has been the proud owner of an EasyStand Evolv since 2013. Check out his YouTube channel for more about Blake!
Adina Burke – Adina is twenty-something and a proud self-proclaimed crippled punk, poet and open mic night aficionado living in Minneapolis. She also happens to be a proud shoe enthusiast who constantly has bad jokes up her sleeve. You should probably give her your phone number and offer up a cup of coffee. You can purchase her book of poetry, A Bird’s Eye, here.
Irene Park – Freelance writer and graphic designer Irene blogs about her experiences as a T3-4 paraplegic. In the past, she’s written and edited for publications including Vogue and Zagat. Her loves include illustration work, DSLR photography, dogs and travel overseas. See more of her work here.
Mary Miles, PT, DPT – Mary is a pediatric physical therapist serving children and families from birth through age 18. She has an interest and certification in neurodevelopmental treatment for children with cerebral palsy, and also has experience as a private practice therapist as well as an adult PT with the Courage Center in Golden Valley, Minnesota.
Erin Villella – Erin and her husband Andy are the proud parents of two daughters: Lydia and her younger sister Vera. Shortly after Lydia’s October 2013 birth, it was discovered she had lost oxygen while in utero. She would later be diagnosed with Spastic Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy. Erin’s knowledge and experience as a RN working with pediatric patients has proven invaluable when raising a child with special needs. In their free time, the Villella’s enjoy swimming, DIYing and spending time with friends and family.
Courtney Stinson – Courtney Stinson is mom to Ellie and Nathan. Nathan(5) is the typical high-energy boy, Ellie is a non-toddling toddler with severe hypotonia requiring 24 hour ventilator support, multiple mobility aids and nutrition via a feeding tube. Life with her kids is both more difficult and more rewarding than she could have ever imagined, but it has opened her eyes to the world of parenting a special needs child as well as opening doors to new opportunities and friendships. Courtney is a registered dietitian nutritionist working as a food and nutrition communications consultant, most recently specializing in blenderized tube feeding diets. You can connect and learn more about Courtney and her many adventures, life with Ellie, and work with blended diets at www.courtneystinson.com.
Nito Blocklinger – Nito is a Kinesiology professional with a B.A. in Exercise Science, established Beyond the Chair in 2011. Prior to this, Nito worked nearly 9 years in spinal cord injury/post-acute exercise-based therapy. He has worked with spinal cord injuries of all levels, as well as clients with stroke, traumatic brain injury, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis and a variety of other neurological disorders.
Jenni Taylor – Jenni is a student, motivational speaker, and advocate for people with disabilities. She has a fantastic blog called The Site that Breathes and is C1-C2 quadriplegic who is vent dependent. Jenni stands twice a week in her EasyStand Evolv. She is also the former Miss Wheelchair Minnesota 2011.
Stephenie Labandz, PT, DPT – Stephenie is a Physical Therapist currently serving children and families in Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education programs. She has a strong interest in neurological rehabilitation & assistive technology and is passionate about helping children of all abilities maximize their function and independence.
Stacy Warden – Stacy is an in-home parent CNA, who worked in the legal profession in District Court prior to the birth of her first son Noah, who suffered a birth injury resulting in global brain damage. She has two young sons, Noah and Luke. When she’s not hunting a Starbucks drive-thru, she is flipping through Irish and English recipe books in search of the next best dish. You can find her at Noah’s Miracle.
Carol Shrader – Carol is mother to four: triplets Benjamin, Mason, Claire and their younger sister Cate. The triplets were born almost 3 months prematurely and as a result both her sons have Cerebral Palsy. She also documents her family’s journey on her personal blog, The Blessing Counter.
Rubi Rocha – Rubi is a C6-C7 quadriplegic and firm believer in the power of physical therapy. She regularly attends Beyond the Chair, a gym for those with spinal cord injuries, as well. When she isn’t busy with her college studies, she loves swimming, water skiing, jet skiing, going out with friends, and volunteering at the Make-A-Wish Foundation as well as Morgan’s Wonderland.
Matthew Tilford – Matthew is a T-12 complete paraplegic as the result of a car accident two weeks before his high school graduation. He is an ambassador for both Ekso Bionic and Back Bones, is a Wheel Strong teem member, and creator of Chair Tips N’ Tricks. Matthew is very active and still enjoys cycling, snowboarding, and wakeboarding. You can read more about him here.
Scott Chesney – Scott is an internationally-recognized motivational speaker and life coach who has presented to over one million people in 38 countries. A T-7 paraplegic of 25 years, he is an Ambassador for The Reeve Foundation, a husband, a father of two children, and an avid EasyStand user!
Shawn Dean – Shawn is C6-7 quadriplegic and owns one of the first EasyStand models. He went on to graduate law school and is now a board-certified attorney. Shawn is also a disability consultant and founded the Minnesota Spinal Cord Injury Association. He covers topics such as accessibility and dating with a disability.
Nancy Perlich, COTA/ATP – Nancy has worked as Funding Specialist at Altimate Medical since 1999. She helps clinicians and consumers by walking them thru the funding process. Nancy’s background includes working with as both a DME supplier and clinician.
Dawn Villarreal – Dawn Villarreal runs One Place for Special Needs, a national disability resource that lets you find local and online resources. She is also moderator of Autism Community Connection, a Yahoo group for families in Illinois.
Patrick Boardman – Patrick has been a part of the medical equipment industry for 15 years. Pat currently works as Director of Business Development for Active American Mobility, and is an active participant in TXRPC.
Joan Celebi– Joan is the founder and president of Special Needs Parent Coach and the author of “Overwhelmed No More! The Complete System For Balanced Living for Parents of Children with Special Needs.” Check out Joan’s blog.
Erin Breedlove– Erin is a college student with cerebral palsy. She is a disability advocate and special education major. Her dreams include becoming a director of disability services for a university.
Jennifer Fiander – Jennifer is the owner of Lil’ Angel Gifts, and is the founder of the Canadian Disability Resources Database. She also created Special Needs Reads, a blog that chronicles her own experiences with her special needs son, an EasyStand user.
Jadian Foley – Jadian is a person T5 paraplegia who uses his EasyStand Evolv Mobile stander every day. Jadian stands while doing hobbies like woodworking and target shooting and shared his standing success story with us.
Heidi Kay @ PediaStaff – PediaStaff is niche firm specializing in the staffing and placement of physical therapists and physical therapist assistants into pediatric and school based settings. Additionally, the PediaStaff website is an online resource on topics in pediatric therapy.
Andrea Kennedy -Andy is Director of Operations at Access Anything, specializing in all aspects of disability travel. She also contributes regularly to Action and Venture Travel Magazines as well as several other adaptive sports magazines and newsletters. Read posts by Andrea
Craig Kennedy – Craig is a published author, motivational speaker, and President of Access Anything, LLC, a nationally recognized leader in adaptive sports and adventure travel for people with disabilities.He has more than ten years of adaptive travel experience. Read posts by Craig
Susan Maus – Paralyzed from the shoulders down in a June 30, 2000 motor vehicle accident, Susan is co-founder and president of Unite 2 Fight Paralysis (U2FP), a primarily all-volunteer organization dedicated to advancing paralysis curative therapies. Read posts by Susan
Santina Muha – Santina is a journalist, model, public speaker and internet personality. She also holds the position of Communications Associate at the National Spinal Cord Injury Association (NSCIA). She lives in NJ and has a T-11 spinal cord injury from an auto accident. Read posts by Santina
Emily Seibert – Emily is an Occupational Therapist and active volunteer of the Philadelphia Chapter of the Buoniconti Fund, the fund raising arm of the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis. Emily is a T8-9 paraplegic and owns an EasyStand Glider Read posts by Emily
Mark Schmitt – Mark is a T-12 Paraplegic and has worked at Altimate Medical as Sales & Marketing Director since 1998. You may also recognize him as the host of the Life After Spinal Cord Injury videos. Mark’s has an EasyStand Evolv Mobile with the Pow’r Up Lift. Read posts by Mark
Alan Tholkes – Alan is the Founder of Altimate Medical Inc, and the inventor of the EasyStand standing frame. He is a C6-7 quadriplegic. You may also recognize Alan from many Life After SCI videos on transferring tips. Read posts by Alan
Peter Wankelman – As National Sales Manager for Altimate Medical, for the past 15 years Peter has earned the reputation as the “Altimate” Road Warrior. He has lectured on the benefits of standing in over 150 cities in six countries. Read posts by Peter
Andrew Gardeen – Andrew is the International Sales Manager for EasyStand products. Andrew works with EasyStand distributors in over thirty countries has diverse knowledge of standing throughout the world. Read posts by Andrew
Stacey Frank – Stacey Frank has worked at Altimate Medical since 1995. Her first 5 years were in customer service. Since then she has been working in a quality and management position as the Director of Operations. Read posts by Stacey
Robert Spitzmesser, ATP – Robert has been involved with the Home Medical Equipment industry in the San Antonio Metro Area for over 18 years. Robert is a Care Provider for a disabled spouse as well as an advocate for disabled people within the community. Read posts by Robert
Jeff McDaniel, ATP – Jeff has been involved in working with assistive technology and adaptive equipment for over ten years and works for Active American Mobility in Stafford, Texas. Read posts by Jeff
Mike Duenas, ATP – Michael has been in the Complex Rehab industry for over 20 years. Michael holds several certificates for rehab equipment fitting, sales & service including, and the RESNA ATP Certification. Read posts by Mike
Heather Whitener – Heather is a licensed professional counselor who works with children ages 2-5. She volunteers at the Travis Roy Foundation as a writer. She enjoys painting, reading, standing in her EasyStand, and hanging out with family and friends. Read posts by Heather
Carlo Pandian – Carlo is a freelance writer and blogs about education, technology and special needs resources covering everything from eco-friendly toys to teaching supplies. When he’s not online or cycling around town you can’t get him out of the kitchen for his love of food. Read posts by Carlo