Tag Archives: living with disability

Disability Match Profiled in Datingadvice Review

Datingadvice.com is one of the most respected dating review sites on the internet and to get an endorsement from them is wonderful news for the team at disabilitymatch.   The review tells the history of our site since it was started 6 years ago and explores my motivation as webmaster in building the site and our positioning in the marketplace.

The review does emphasise how our site has distinguished itself as a real part of the UK’s disabled community.  They noted how special our podcast is and how we keep our community informed through our Twitter feed and Facebook fanpage.  It is always reassuring when an independent industry site features us in this way.  There are many sites that look similar to disabilitymatch, but we have the authenticity and command the respect of our 30.000+ membership.

We are planning some exciting innovations in the coming months which will keep us as the leading disability dating site in the UK.

David Miller

Webmaster

 

Preparing For Naidex.

 

I have just finished putting together my talk for the NAIDEX show.  I am giving 2 seminars at the show, one on Tuesday and the second on Thursday.  I never knew so much work went into doing a powerpoint show – its the first time I’ve used presentation systems.  In the past I always spoke with a flip chart but n ow its gone all high tech and I am using a laptop and a wireless pointer.

I found a friend who was pretty good at preparing thee sorts of slide show and I gave her my script and she worked it into something that looks really good.  I hope you will come along and enjoy it yourselves at the show.  I will be explaining how members of an online disabled dating site can get the best out of their membership and how to create a profile that gets results.  I expect most of the seminar will be dedicated to Q&A and I will also be available after the presentation to give personal guidance and advice to any visitors.

This is a great opportunity to put a ‘Zing’ in your dating skills so don’t miss my talks.

 

David

 

 

 

 

New Hope for Multiple Sclerosis Sufferers

 

It has been a long time coming BUT it looks as if scientists have finally come up with a  drug that alters the immune system which has been described as “big news” and a “landmark” in treating multiple sclerosis, doctors and charities say.  If this is the case then Disabilitymatch enthusiastically welcomes this news and hopes that it will be quickly available for our members and the wider disabled community at the earliest possible date.

Trials, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, suggest the drug can slow damage to the brain in two forms of MS.

Ocrelizumab is the first drug shown to work in the primary progressive form of the disease.

The drug is being reviewed for use in the US and Europe.

MS is caused by a rogue immune system mistaking part of the brain for a hostile invader and attacking it.

It destroys the protective coating that wraps round nerves called the myelin sheath.

The sheath also acts like wire insulation to help electrical signals travel down the nerve.

Damage to the sheath prevents nerves from working correctly and means messages struggle to get from the brain to the body.

This leads to symptoms like having difficulty walking, fatigue and blurred vision.

The disease can either just get worse, known as primary progressive MS, or come in waves of disease and recovery, known as relapsing remitting MS.

Both are incurable, although there are treatments for the second state.

Ocrelizumab kills a part of the immune system – called B cells – which are involved in the assault on the myelin sheath.

In 732 patients with progressive MS, the percentage of patients that had deteriorated fell from 39% without treatment to 33% with ocrelizumab .

Patients taking the drug also scored better on the time needed to walk 25 feet and had less brain loss detected on scans.

In 1,656 patients with relapsing remitting, the relapse rate with ocrelizumab was half that of using another drug.

Prof Gavin Giovannoni, from Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, was involved in the trials and said: “The results shown by these studies have the potential to change how we approach treating both relapsing and primary progressive MS.”

He told the BBC: “It’s very significant because this is the first time a phase three trial has been positive in primary progressive MS.”

More than 100,000 people are diagnosed with MS in the UK, around one-in-five are progressive.

Dr Aisling McMahon, the head of clinical trials at the MS Society, commented: “This is really big news for people with the primary progressive form of multiple sclerosis.

“It’s the first time a treatment has shown the potential to reduce disability progression for this type of MS, which offers a lot of hope for the future.”

The drug is being considered by the European Medicines Agency and the US Food and Drug Administration.

But Prof Giovannoni warned that patients in the UK may be disappointed as it may be hard for the NHS to fund everyone getting a drug that is likely to be expenseive.

He told the BBC: “I would expect a narrow group of people to be eligible.”

Dr Peter Calabresi, from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, added: “This is the first drug to show a significant effect in slowing disability progression in a phase three trial in primary progressive multiple sclerosis and therefore represents a landmark study in the field.”

But he warned doctors to “stay vigilant” because of the risk of side-effects.

Weakening the immune system increases the risk of infection and of cancer emerging.

Via bbc.co.uk

Great End to 2016, Looking Forward to an Amazing 2017.

This year finished for me on a high note after a period of ill health and a bit of surgery. I decided to go off to Majorca, Spain to recuperate and rest and whilst I was there I had the great pleasure of meeting up with our dear friend Martyn Sibley from disability horizons who was attending a Handisport conference to promote accessibility for the disabled.  When i saw Martyn he confided in me that he had been voted as the 3rd most influential disabled person in the UK.  This is an honour he truly deserves.  Nobody has done more for campaigning on accessible travel and normalising disability  in our country.

My next trip is to other side of Europe – up north in Finland where i have many friends and family.  Funnily enough a really cool video promoting a Finnish dating site  just passed across my desk and frankly it is so much better than the usual cheaply presented dating videos from Finland which is the poor man of dating promotions in Europe.

I enjoy looking at how other niche dating sites promote their offers and this offering from flirttideitti.fi is visually very nice indeed.  OK. that was a ‘shout out’ now back to disabilitymatch which has been adding new members at a rate of knots. I have also been delighted at just how well our podcast has been doing.  we have had hundreds of downloads for our episodes and, not just in the UK.  We have podcast subscribers in Canada and Australia and we get social media coverage for the podcast all around the world.

I do recommend that you follow me on twitter @disabilitymatch where I tweet every day about things that are happening in the world of disability and in the wider worls of medical innovations.  Finally we have rebuilt our store http://shop.disabilitymatch.co.uk and we are starting to get orders.  We will be giving 15% of our shop profits to disability charities so if you need to buy a wheelchair or a disabled bed or a commode and many other things do buy from us because we will donate profits to a good cause.

Back soon

 

David

Latest Prosthetics Enhance Lives of Amputees.

When you consider just how many people lose limbs every year from road accidents trough to diabetes any advances in prosthetics are to be welcomed.  One of the pioneers in the field of amputee rehabilitation is Dr. Esquenazi  at Moss Rehab in Philadelphia.

It’s sophisticated computer technology that allows specialists at Moss-Rehab to analyze movement. “Here are the muscles you see during running,” Dr. Alberto Esquenazi explains as he points to a graph on the computer screen.

Dr. Esquenazi is the Chief Medical Officer at Moss-Rehab, and he says this gait and motion analysis lets him monitor how patients are progressing though rehabilitation. “That allows us to figure out if the muscles are working correctly,” he explained further.

He is a pioneer in the world of amputee rehab and prosthetics, “so the little tips in my hooks give me a lot of precision. I could take one single hair and pull that out,” he said as he demonstrated with his own prosthetic hand. Dr. Esquenazi has a unique prospective. He is an amputee himself. He lost his hand to a burn that happened in medical school when chemicals had been mislabled. “At that point, I thought I was not going to continue in medicine,” He revealed. But he did and is now helping others who have lost limbs, with refined new prosthetics.

“Patients can now do many more things that they really were not able to do before.” He said as he displayed another more advanced prosthetic hand, “this gripper for example has about 6 times more strength than what I am wearing, so I could actually grab an object and crush it.”

From strength to aesthetics, real looking hands can be attached to the prosthetics, and the movements are controlled by muscles in your forearm. Back in the lab, once patients are fitted with either arms or legs, Dr. Esquenazi can help refine the movements so that patients can start feeling normal again. “They can really get the emotional support of now having a device that will help them do more things,” he said.

Dr. Esquenazi is also working with the re-walk technology at Moss-Rehab, which is allowing paralyzed patients to walk again.

Via philadelphia.cbslocal.com

 

Paralympics Coming to Rio 2016

Well, we have just been through an incredible 16 days of Olympic excitement in RIO.  I have been glue to my sofa every night watching niche sports into the early hours on BBC.  I had never shown any interest before in women’s hockey events BUT when we have a Team GB match with medals at the end of it then it takes on a whole new dimension.  I guess that is the whole point of the Olympic games – it makes us aware of sports we might never otherwise watch and so we learn and get engaged emotionally with the result.

Hopefully the Paralympics will be the same.  In London 2012 we all watched with fascination at blind football and wheelchair archery, we all discovered a whole new group of athletic heroes.  This has had a longterm effect on the disabled community.  Not just a sense of pride but an increased desire to participate and get fitter.  Not everyone can be an ‘Olympic’ athlete but all people disabled and fully able can improve their physical activity, health, flexibility and spirit of achievement.   We are worried, of course, about how the Rio Paralympic games will turn out.  There are money worries and some countries will not have the funding to travel to the games.  The Russian drugs ban will remove a large swathe of great olympic talent which will affect a whole range of sports.  Already the Brazilian organisers have warned of low ticket sales and closing venues.  This is a real pity since the Brazilian squad are rated quite highly within the Paralympic movement.

We have interviewed Michelle Weltman, events organiser the London Marathon on our upcoming podcast episode and she tells us which UK athletes we should be looking out for and cheering on from our sofas.  In 2012 Channel 4  did a great job on presenting the Paralympics, hopefully their presentation in RIO this year will be at the same level at excellence.

Disability Match Disabled Living and Mobility Shop

Exciting announcement!  We have just launched a disabilitymatch shop to supply our community with mobility goods and services at excellent prices.  The project is at an early stage but hopefully we will get support and the store will flourish.  We already have lots of items from mobility scooters to adapted beds and even small items for hearing aids.

The disabilitymatch shop
The disabilitymatch shop

We hope that you will check out our selection of items the next time you are buying mobility aids and see how our prices compare.  We ship through Amazon so you can be sure that your purchases will arrive swiftly and efficiently.

Use disabilitymatch On the GO with our Mobile Features

I am sure most members of disabilitymatch realise that the site is optimised for all mobile platforms – phone/pad etc and you can date and flirt wherever you are as long as you have a signal for you favourite device.  Here is a short video I made to remind you about our mobile version of the #1 disabled dating site in the UK.

I hope you like the video it has some fancy animation that took a lot of work to create.
Have fun dating with valentine’s Day just around the corner.

David

Gogglebox Couple Have Disabled Son.

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I must admit that of all the couples on Gogglebox Stephanie and Dominic are by far and away the most entertaining.

Hard-drinking Gogglebox couple Stephanie and Dominic Parker have revealed a more serious side to their life by speaking about their disabled son.

The pair, who have become firm public favourites on the hit Channel 4 show due to their outspoken views have spoken about their son Max, now 15, who can have 150 epileptic seizures a month.

They noticed that there was something wrong with their eldest, when he was just four months’ old.

Stephanie and Dominic Parker, pictured, the ‘posh ones’ on Channel Four’s Gogglebox have spoken about their disabled son for the first time, who has on a bad month some 150 epileptic seizures and has autism

The couple, pictured, are known for their outrageous views and posh accents on the hit TV show

Steph told Deborah Ross in the Times Magazine that they noticed Max had these ‘little jerky movements’.

She said: ‘We took a video of him and showed it to the GP, who immediately referred us to the paediatric consultant at the local hospital who said, “I think we have a problem and I need you to come in first thing Monday morning. Bring a bag”.’

The youngster also has autism and spends term time in a special residential school.

Steph said that Max’s condition has had a profound effect on their lives and has made them better people, even though they do try to enjoy themselves.

Steph and Dom have won a cult following for being plummy, outspoken and never without a drink on the Channel 4 show, in which the reactions of families are filmed as they watch TV together in their homes.

 

Amazing Innovations in Amputee Prosthetics.

I am fascinated by the amazing advances we are seeing in 3d printing technology and how it can help provide prosthetic limbs at a reasonable price and at great speed.  Open Bionics a Bristol-based company is a UK leader in this field.

Open Bionics has teamed up with a researcher at the University of Bristol to create a dual material, custom, 3D printed splint for people with broken wrists.

Abby Taylor and Open Bionics’ mechanical engineer Jonathan Raines created an innovative 3D printed medical splint by combining PLA and Ninja Flex (a thermoplastic elastomer) with two extruders on a desktop 3D printer.

The researcher asked Open Bionics to help her bring her idea to life by using their 3D scanning and 3D printing methods.

Open Bionics did so by 3D scanning Abby’s wrist before applying a Voronoi pattern to the model and then 3D printed a custom-fitted, dual material splint.

The design combines the strength of PLA with the flexibility and softness of the filament printed on the inside. The flexible material also acts as a living hinge, meaning patients can get in and out of the splint with ease.

Abby said: “We hope to create an alternative to conventional casting that is often heavy and impractical. We want to improve the wearer’s experience.”

This first print which fit comfortably, is a sign that 3D printing could enable patients to have an improved splint that’s ‘way more integrative’ with the daily life of the patient.

Open Bionics estimated that the material costs for the splint, which prints in one part, is just £2.

The innovative startup will be supporting Abby’s research into alternative medical casting for broken or injured wrists for the next year while continuing to develop their low-cost bionic hands.