Roll Model Gear

July 29th, 2013 by Carrie, the Just Mildly Medicated gal

My introduction to Roll Model Gear started when I posted a pic on Instagram. A woman saw it and commented that I should check out the website, a few minutes later I was online and knew I wanted to get to know the people behind this very special website. After some brief exchanges I wanted to help in any way I could.

Kevin and Dylana were excited to collaborate with Just Mildly Medicated and we hope to reach new people and share Roll Model Gear and their mission.

Can you tell us a bit about you, Dylana, and Campbell as the people behind Roll Model Gear?

Kevin: First off, let me say a heartfelt thank you for showing such an interest in our project. Your blog is fantastic, and being a part of it is really exciting to us.

Dylana teaches dance and is currently on track to being an Occupation Therapist. She has been working with kids through dance for nearly 15 years, and has learned quite a bit about kids, adults, and their individual challenges. She has really become a very fantastic teacher in the way of dance, but has also shined as a mother and a person over the last few years in particular.

Dylana and I have a 4 and a half year old son, named Campbell who was born with Spina Bifida. Campbell obviously has faced many challenges, and we have of course heard so many different projections of his expected abilities, medical probabilities or likely outcomes, we were initially overwhelmed. After getting our feet underneath us, we decided to let no one else set our child’s limitations and have since pursued every single known (and some unknown) avenues for furthering his progress, acceptance and successful life path. I know that “life path” sounds a bit too outlandish when referring to a 4 yr old, but as you may know, having challenges that others may not understand can lead way to a challenging future.

Dylana has really been pivotal in communicating her wants and hopes for our son, and has really been an invaluable teammate as a parent, by always holding the best interest of our child as a first priority. Most people will say that this is what any good parent would do, but with the challenges we have all faced, she has really been tempered in hot fires. If there was equipment our son needed or a medical test we thought might benefit she has no hesitation in voicing her opinions, working through red tape or jumping on board with me to do what it takes to get results. Many parents will never face these obstacles, but she has done so with steadfast courage and determination.

That brings me to myself. My name is Kevin. I have been in the gymnastics and cheerleading industry for most of my life. Though I have been a part of all of the different facets of the business, I too have spent the majority of my life teaching kids. I coach all different age groups from 5 to 25 and have coached in all of the different settings and scenarios. Although I continue to grow as a coach and parent, learning that all kids understand and learn differently early on in my career has really transferred over to my parenting style. I have had quite a bit of experience with challenging situations in regards to kids and their families, and was able to really absorb a lot of knowledge by paying close attention.

In my time away from cheerleading, I have been doing more and more graphic design, web design and artist services to help supplement income. Like Dylana, I too have been persistent in my fight to give Cam the absolute best of opportunities and continue to be as involved and hands on as I was the day he was born.

Campbell has now learned how to do lots of standing and walking with the right assistive devices, some potty training, and has grown intellectually to a level that is beyond many “typical” kids, even older than he. He is the most kind-hearted and gentle child I have ever seen, and has no hesitation in introducing himself to others and offering up hugs.

Throughout the process of learning the best ways to help Campbell, we also faced substantial challenges in getting the right kinds of equipment, finding the right therapies and therapists, and even getting the right level of support medically. Though we have a great support system and are very resourceful, we have also witnessed so many other children and adults with a variety of needs who may not be quite as fortunate with the amount of help they receive (financially and emotionally). Because we bear witness to this so often, the idea for Roll Model Gear began to take shape.

Campbell has had much success with a special type of bike called an Amtryke. It is specifically designed for physically handicapped people to use by pedaling the bike with their arms. He recently out grew his first Amtryke, and because it is such a great physical activity for him to do outside, we began looking into a new model. The next size up for Campbell was beyond our price range, creeping up on the thousand dollar mark, so Dylana had an idea. We should do a fundraiser that will not only help raise funds for Campbell but will also give us a way to show our support for the disabled community and eventually try to pay it forward

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So we are seeing the birth of Roll Model Gear coming. How did you come up with the logo that I for one am in love with?

Kevin: Dylana sent me a text one day and said, “I’ve got it! We could do shirts that say My Child is a Roll Model – instead of role model and have a neat design.

I got started on making a logo that we thought was not only appealing to the cause, but had a catchy modern play on the traditional handicapped symbol. Roll model Gear’s logo was born soon after I spent some time envisioning what I wanted it to look like. The handicapped symbol tilted forward showing a person in motion signified to me that this is aiming for progress and forward motion and that anyone facing these challenges is and can be moving forward in a positive direction. I added the small upward angled arrow to the bottom of the logo to depict an upward motion in the awareness of anyone whom this logo could apply to.

Once we had a logo, we realized that we could easily offer the shirt to anyone who was interested in showing support for someone in particular, or even just the movement we hope to create. From the plain logo just supporting the cause of raising awareness to the virtually unlimited slogan add-ons, we grew to accommodate anyone.
With the profits from our sales, we are listening to the story of anyone who may need some assistance in buying equipment of any kind that is relevant to those who we want to raise awareness for.

After hearing our plan, a generous supporter and therapist had access to the Amtryke we hoped to get for Cam, and graciously donated to him. Because of that, now all the profits are paid forward to benefit others. Roll Model Gear is so proud that we were recently able to announce our ability to help purchase new arm crutches for one of our supporters. We are still working hard to grow our project and reach more people worldwide.

Roll Model Gear

 

If you would like to make a donation and/or purchase these amazing T-shirts you can do so by clicking this link.

Please also consider following Roll Model Gear on Facebook  and Instagram.

Some of my own families fun in our Roll Model Gear.

Roll Model Gear Roll Model Gear

Glow in the dark put put golf

Glow in the dark put-put golfing.

Thanks for all your support!

The Just Mildly Medicated Gal

with Kevin, Dylana and Campbell

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4 Responses

  1. Rob says:

    Great post.

  2. Pam says:

    New follower via email. Love your blog! : )

    Pam
    @ http://www.pjstreasures.blogspot.com

  3. Vicky says:

    What an awesome cause and company to support! I love their story and I love that you are helping them out!
    V
    http://thepursuitofnormal.blogspot.com

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