Seattle, WA - Greenwood, WA resident and WalkAide user John Boettner successfully walked three miles in the April 13th MS Lifelines Walk hosted by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society in Seattle. This is quite an accomplishment considering he suffers from left-side paralysis and struggled to walk two city blocks at the beginning of last year.

Visit Seattle’s ABC affiliate, KOMO-TV to watch news coverage of Boettner’s achievement: http://www.komoradio.com/home/video/17662124.html?video=pop&t=a.

Boettner was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in January 2001. The debilitating effects of MS range from loss of vision and cognitive impairments to seizures and various forms of paralysis. For Boettner, the disease gradually progressed to cause a form of paralysis called foot drop that limits a person’s ability to walk. A former Environmental Specialist for the State of Washington, Boettner was forced to retire after 30 productive years with the Department of Fish & Wildlife, and then National Resources.

Fitted with the WalkAide in early in 2007 by Certified Prosthetist / Orthotist Eric Weber at Hanger Prosthetics & Orthotics, Boettner combined the WalkAide technology with determination and exercise to successfully restore his motor skills. Boettner hopes his accomplishment inspires others with MS.

"The WalkAide really has made a difference in my life," Boettner said. "I see it as a partnership between me, my practitioner, and the device. You have to commit to improving your walking ability and dedicate yourself to exercise. The device enables you to take it that much further."

For more information on Boettner and his goals, please visit his MS Walk website: http://walkwas.nationalmssociety.org/site/TR/Walk/WASWalkEvents?fr_id=8776&pg=entry.

About the WalkAide: The WalkAide helps to restore mobility and functionality for those with paralysis due to MS, stroke, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, and cerebral palsy. By using a patented sensor technology called an accelerometer and transmitting data through a Bluetooth connection, the WalkAide sends low level electrical signals directly to a motor nerve in the leg, stimulating the muscles to raise the patient’s foot at the appropriate time in the gait cycle. About the size of an iPod, the device is worn around the leg, just below the knee.

Clinical results: A study published in the September 2006 issue of the peer-reviewed journal Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair suggests the WalkAide can reveal hidden potential for additional patient recovery and mobility. The walking speed of patients wearing the WalkAide increased by 15% after three months. With continued usage, patients’ walking speed increased by 32% after six months and by nearly 50% after twelve months. The study also showed the number of steps taken per day by WalkAide users increased significantly over the year.