Most people have heard the saying “everything happens for a reason”, but that something that happened to a family from Ithaca, Michigan has created something amazing for children with disabilities. Meet Jennifer Harrison, she is the creator of X-Ability a stylish wheelchair body coat that was inspired by her daughter Zoey who uses a wheelchair.
Zoey, who is one of nine children John and Jennifer Harrison have adopted. Zoey was born with cerebral palsy, but she may not have been born at all. Jennifer’s story is compelling and when you listen to the podcast you will hear why she is a WCSX “Woman Who Rocks”.
For X-Ability founder Jennifer Harrison, helping others and sharing has always been a deeply ingrained part of her personality. When she was blessed with the opportunity to turn a simple desire to help her daughter into an online clothing business, she went all in!
When Jennifer posted a video of Zoey wearing a hand-sewn Bodycoat prototype on Facebook, it was only meant to be an instructional video for Zoey’s caregivers. Instead, it immediately went viral, surpassing 11 million views from just that one post. Jennifer quickly realized that her invention could help so many other people. Now, just one year later, the masses can experience Zoey’s joy for this revolutionary, one-of-a-kind product.
In the second half of the podcast, I am always joined by Cyndy Schalter-Salsido from Turning Point Macomb. This week we talk about caring for children with special needs. Over the weekend a tweet thread went viral from a man in the United Kingdom who has a daughter with down syndrome. He asked a simple question, “My child has Down’s Syndrome, what should I expect?” He didn’t expect the response he received.
Cyndy and I also discuss the Jessie Smollet situation. For those not familiar, the actor and musician claimed he was the victim of an assault in the early morning hours of Jan. 29 in Chicago. He alleged two men hurled racist and homophobic slurs at him, beat him, poured bleach on him, and placed a rope around his neck. Smollett also said the two men used the phrase “MAGA country” during the assault, a reference to President Donald Trump and his “Make America Great Again” slogan. It turns out, it was all made up. My question to Cyndy, how does this hurt the L.G.B.T.Q. community going forward? HBO’s late-night political satirist Bill Maher had a great panel discussion about that very thing.
Last but not least, marijuana. It could soon be coming to a neighborhood near you after Michigan voters agreed to legalize it last November. If you have small children, do you want a dispensary in your neighborhood? Cyndy and I talk about the pro’s and con’s of having them close by. A recent poll of Michigan residents in regards to pot dispensaries and where they are located was just released, and I wasn’t very surprised at the results.
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