+

Trips to the park or the library are outings many new moms dream about. Sharina Jones is no exception.

Jones with her husband, Grover III, and son, Grover IV. Photo by Sharina Jones, used with permission.


While the Michigan resident has plenty in common with most new moms, there's something that sets her apart: Jones lost the use of her legs in a shooting incident when she was just 5 years old. She's relied on a wheelchair ever since.

Jones never lets her wheelchair hold her back.

She is a woman on the go, energetic and cheerful with a bubbly personality — so much so that she decided to share her optimism with the world.

"I felt like taking that energy and just making it positive for everyone else," Jones told Upworthy. "I wanted everybody to wake up like I wake up in the morning."

She started designing motivational apparel, published an autobiography, and launched a group called Think Beyond the Chair, which provides resources, support, and social events for people with disabilities. She was even crowned Ms. Wheelchair Michigan in 2011.

But as a new mom, one task eluded her: She couldn't use a conventional stroller while pushing her own wheelchair.


Nope. None of these are going to work. Photo by Kevin Poh/Flickr.

When she discovered she was pregnant, Jones reached out to Kelsey Kleimola, a mother of two and fellow former Ms. Wheelchair Michigan, for advice on finding a stroller.

Kleimola referred Jones to Dr. Darrell Kleinke, a professor at the University of Detroit Mercy who works with high school students to conduct engineering research projects, some of which are designed to meet the needs of people with disabilities.

Jones was paired with Alden Kane, a high school senior with a passion for problem-solving.

The two met and discussed Jones' needs. "Talking to her was a big help," Kane told The Michigan Catholic, as Jones was able to explain what kind of workability she needed, where a diaper bag should go so she could reach it, how to unhook the stroller from the chair, and how she would move around in the chair.

Kane began with 15 designs. After six months of prototyping, research, and experiments after school, he hoed in on one made of stainless steel piping.

The stroller attaches to the wheelchair using quick-release valves, similar to the mechanism used on a bicycle.

Kane's successful design. Image by John Powell.

The wheelchair guides the stroller forward, with the carrier held tight up top:

Kane demonstrates the stroller. GIF by John Powell.

Kane completed the device right on time: just four weeks after Jones' son, Grover, arrived.

And Jones is overjoyed with the finished product.

"I do love my stroller," Jones said. "It's definitely made life easier for our family."

Grover riding in style. Photo by Sharina Jones, used with permission.

The device is the first of its kind. Jones and Kane are already working together on the next generation of the stroller, which Grover can use as he gets bigger. Jones is also working on some inventions of her own, which she hopes to share with the public soon.

For now, Jones is as busy as ever and enjoying her new title: Mom.

"I love waking up and seeing his little face," she said. "There's just nothing like it."

Photo by Sharina Jones, used with permission.

Watch Alden Kane demonstrate his life-changing stroller design in this short clip:

A breastfeeding mother's experience at Vienna's Schoenbrunn Zoo is touching people's hearts—but not without a fair amount of controversy.

Gemma Copeland shared her story on Facebook, which was then picked up by the Facebook page Boobie Babies. Photos show the mom breastfeeding her baby next to the window of the zoo's orangutan habitat, with a female orangutan sitting close to the glass, gazing at them.

"Today I got feeding support from the most unlikely of places, the most surreal moment of my life that had me in tears," Copeland wrote.

Keep ReadingShow less

RumorGuard by The News Literacy Project.

The 2016 election was a watershed moment when misinformation online became a serious problem and had enormous consequences. Even though social media sites have tried to slow the spread of misleading information, it doesn’t show any signs of letting up.

A NewsGuard report from 2020 found that engagement with unreliable sites between 2019 and 2020 doubled over that time period. But we don’t need studies to show that misinformation is a huge problem. The fact that COVID-19 misinformation was such a hindrance to stopping the virus and one-third of American voters believe that the 2020 election was stolen is proof enough.

What’s worse is that according to Pew Research, only 26% of American adults are able to distinguish between fact and opinion.

To help teach Americans how to discern real news from fake news, The News Literacy Project has created a new website called RumorGuard that debunks questionable news stories and teaches people how to become more news literate.

Keep ReadingShow less
Family

A mom describes her tween son's brain. It's a must-read for all parents.

"Sometimes I just feel really angry and I don’t know why."

This story originally appeared on 1.05.19


It started with a simple, sincere question from a mother of an 11-year-old boy.

An anonymous mother posted a question to Quora, a website where people can ask questions and other people can answer them. This mother wrote:

How do I tell my wonderful 11 year old son, (in a way that won't tear him down), that the way he has started talking to me (disrespectfully) makes me not want to be around him (I've already told him the bad attitude is unacceptable)?

It's a familiar scenario for those of us who have raised kids into the teen years. Our sweet, snuggly little kids turn into moody middle schoolers seemingly overnight, and sometimes we're left reeling trying to figure out how to handle their sensitive-yet-insensitive selves.


Keep ReadingShow less