Shooting with the Bioness L300


As anyone who is a regular reader knows we have been trying to get one of the Bioness L300 leg braces for my drop foot issues from my MS. We are currently trying to do a fund raiser as I have mentioned in another post. I was able to get a one time grant from the MSF (Multiple Sclerosis Foundation) which cover a one month rental of the brace. I have had the brace for a week now. Go figure the first few days the weather here in Western Colorado wasn’t the greatest for shooting. The last couple days have been amazing though. I did so much shooting today that the batteries with the L300 dies about 8PM tonight. I guess the get up and go in the batteries just didn’t have the stamina to keep up….lol I shot a double header at CMU today and shot just under 1,000 frames. It’s been a while since I have shot baseball. It was so nice being able to go back and actually get shooting done. Not having to worry about tripping, falling or loosing balance. I didn’t have to juggle my equipment and a cane. For the first time since last June I felt like myself and it felt wonderful! Tomorrow’s plan is to do some more shooting at another CMU game and then tackle some spring projects around the house.

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As many of you are aware I have been a Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patient for about 8 years now. Many of our client never knew about it until this past summer. This past summer I started having issues with my mobility. Many of the side effects to MS involve spasticity (which is a tightening of muscles in the legs) and a condition called drop foot. Drop foot occurs when the brain sends a message to the foot when you walk to lift up the toes. In patients with drop foot the foot never gets this message and the toes never pick up. The result is constant tripping and falling. Despite having to use a cane and a ankle foot orthotic (AFO) I am still having a lot of issues with severe drop foot and spasticity and on average I am falling 3-5 times a week. This has severely limited my daily activities and being able to shoot images on a regular bases because of safety concerns.

In December my physicians wanted me to try a new electric stimulation brace called the Bioness Ness L300 brace to see if I would benefit from the device. I did a 10 day trial of the device and it worked amazingly well. The 10 days I had it I was able to walk unassisted, walk without a cane, I was not tripping or falling and my level of painful spasticity was all but non existent. I was able to walk and work for the first time since June. At the end of the trial I had to give up the brace and since that time the drop foot and spasticity has been getting progressively worse.

My doctors have been trying to work with my insurance company to get the device approved. They have repeatedly denied the claim even after doctors writing letters of medical necessity. The brace costs $6,500. The brace has been on the market for over 5 years and has been approved for MS patients with drop foot by the US FDA yet insurance continues to deny claims.

We have recently decided to try crowd funding to see if we can fundraise enough money to get the brace and get me back to working and shooting images. We have posted the project on crowd sourcing website called Indie-Go-Go. I am asking that all of our friends, clients, and reader share this link and let as many people as possible know about our fundraiser. The more people that know about it the greater the chance of us reaching our fundraising goal. The link for our fundraiser is
http://www.gofundme.com/hirjk We need everyones support on this and your help is greatly appreciated.

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