. — When she was just one, Amber Konkol (now 15-years-old) was diagnosed with diplegic cerebral palsy. Despite the debilitating diagnosis, she refuses to let it stop her from doing the activities she enjoys. One of her favorite past times is participating in triathlons and she recently discovered a secret weapon which has made the competitions even more enjoyable. In June 2009, Konkol was fit with the WalkAide on each of her legs, a device which combats a form of paralysis known as “foot drop” due to cerebral palsy as in Konkol’s case, in addition to spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, and multiple sclerosis.
Only a month after receiving the WalkAide devices, Konkol used them, in addition to her rear walker, to participate in the run portion of a triathlon. She walked the 1.55 mile distance in 38 minutes and 8 seconds; a strong finish for Konkol who the year prior wasn’t able to finish a mile and collapsed at the end. Konkol is training for another triathlon in July.
Watch more of Konkol’s inspirational story here
. About the WalkAide
– An intelligent functional electrical stimulation (FES) system, the WalkAide restores mobility to people who suffer from a form of lower leg paralysis known as foot drop due to stroke, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, and incomplete spinal cord injury. About the size of an iPod and worn around the calf just below the knee, the WalkAide applies low level electrical currents directly to the peroneal nerve (i.e. the motor nerve that controls the movement of the ankle and foot) and instruct the muscles to flex the foot at the appropriate time in the gait cycle. It uses Bluetooth technology to communicate during programming and a patented tilt accelerometer.
Jennifer Bittner, 904-249-4210
Krisita Burket, 904-249-0314