Here is a story about a girl with cerebral palsy not only created one invention but two and has been very successful with her inventions despite her difficulties with her health.
“Growing up with cerebral palsy made me a stronger person and very determined to succeed. Inventing has given me confidence and a way to help myself as well as others.”
- Krysta Morlan
Krysta’s experience with her own cerebral palsy pushed her to invent the portable Cast Cooler in tenth grade. Several surgeries had left Krysta trapped in hot, uncomfortable casts. Krysta's solution: the Cast Cooler, a battery-powered machine that funnels cool air into a cast via a plastic tube.
And, she has already developed a second invention, although Krysta has yet to even graduate high school. Prompted by months of tedious physical therapy in a swimming pool, Krysta created the Waterbike. It is semi-submerged, fin-powered, and has a rudder for steering. This idea definitely didn't sink since the bike can be used for therapy or fun.
Morlan's waterbike was featured in "National Geographic World" in May 2000 and Morlan herself was listed in "ID Magazine" that year as one of the "Fresh Forty" designers under the age of 30. She has served as a role model for teens, especially those with physical disabilities, for the past several years and has written articles for the online magazine "Beyond All Barriers" on Disability Central's ActivTeen Web site. "I've really enjoyed talking with young people about my love for science and inventing," she said. "It's great to hear the excitement in their voice about inventing and know that I played a small part in putting it there."
Morlan has always loved science and hopes to pursue studies in adaptive technology as well as genetics in college. She has attended UC Davis and will soon attend Solano Community College, but she has yet to determine a major. She is especially interested in the possibility of helping to find cures for people with genetic disorders.
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