When a baby is born, we look forward to all the milestones they will eventually accomplish; their first word, first step, first day of school, graduation, marriage, and hopefully, watching them become parents themselves. Some say that raising children is a labor of love, but I believe it’s a labor of… faith. As parents we invest everything we possibly can into our children, in the hope that they will grow up to be individuals who will someday be ready to take on all life’s opportunities and challenges.
On Thanksgiving weekend, I had the honor of walking my second daughter down the aisle. This time-honored wedding tradition allows us to embrace the change in our family and support our children physically and emotionally as they embark on a huge new chapter of their lives. My wife and I did our best to raise our daughter to have a life of her own, and we escorted her to the man she will spend the rest of her life with. It was such an incredible feeling of accomplishment!
For some parents, being able to take this short walk isn’t a given. That same Thanksgiving weekend, Mr. Lou Galie’s daughter Grace was also getting married. He too was looking forward to walking his daughter down the aisle, but after many years of living with Parkinson’s, Mr. Galie developed a significant balance problem, making that walk down the aisle with Grace quite a challenge.
Months earlier, Mr. Galie’s neurologist prescribed a U- Step Neuro Walker, which gave him the stability he needed. To everyone’s joy, he didn’t have to sacrifice this unique, moving, and special moment in time.
Mr. Galie wrote us the following:
“Isn’t it great that I was able to walk down the aisle with my daughter, even though I can’t walk.” In his smart black tuxedo, Mr. Galie’s beaming smile from cheek to cheek, says it all.
When I first saw these wedding photos of an overjoyed Mr. Galie standing tall, thanks to his U-Step, I was immediately transported back to my own wedding more than 25 years ago. It was soon after that U Step was born. My mother struggled with her walking due to a rare neurological condition that made it very difficult for her to function without the help of a walker and wheelchair when she was outside.
She was my inspiration. Shortly before my wedding, I developed the first U-Step for my mother. I had searched far and wide for a product that would allow her to continue walking, but learned that it didn’t exist, so I would have to come up with it myself. That same U-Step allowed her to proudly and independently walk me down the aisle at my wedding. I remember how fluid her walking was and how she pivoted halfway down the aisle, waiting to escort me to the stage. I remember it like it was yesterday, just how deeply meaningful that moment was for my mother, and for me, the young groom.
I so deeply feel – on a personal level – the happiness Mr. Galie shared with me because he was able to do the same with his daughter.
With the help of my father and mother, my wife, my family, and everyone else who supported me through even the roughest times, my company, In-Step Mobility, has helped close to 100,000 people walk safely with the assistance of our neurological walking products. It speaks to the very heart of what we do and why I started this company when our products are part of making memorable family moments a bit richer and happier for our customers.
Here’s to helping many more families reach milestones!
Jonathan Miller is the President, Founder, and Designer of In-Step Mobility