+
Heroes

How a teen inventor designed an incredible stroller for a mom who uses a wheelchair

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:

The Prince Charles Cinema/Youtube

Brendan Fraser dressed as Rick O'Connell.

Brendan Fraser might be making the greatest career comeback ever, racking up accolades and award nominations for his dramatic, transformative role in “The Whale." But the OG Fraser fans (the ones who watch “Doom Patrol” solely to hear his voice and proudly pronounce his last name as Fray-zure, for this is the proper pronunciation) have known of his remarkable talent since the 90s, when he embodied the ultimate charming, dashing—and slightly goofball—Hollywood action lead.

Let us not forget his arguably most well known and beloved 90s character—Rick O’Connell from the “Mummy” franchise. Between his quippy one-liners, Indiana Jones-like adventuring skills and fabulous hair, what’s not to like?

During a double feature of “The Mummy” and “The Mummy Returns” in London, moviegoers got the ultimate surprise when who should walk in but Brendan Fraser himself, completely decked out in Rick O’Connell attire. The brown leather jacket. The scarf. Everything.

Keep ReadingShow less
Science

Finding the perfect job just got a whole lot easier

Bluecrew uses technology to give workers more control over their job search.

Via Unsplash

Finding a job is never easy. But finding a flexible, shift-based, or part-time job that actually fits your life, pays fair wages, and offers competitive benefits? That can feel downright impossible, especially when you use employment tools and staffing resources designed with only the employer’s needs in mind.

Want to make it easier to find a job that meets your needs? Then you need to check out Bluecrew, a modern staffing solution that helps workers find the flexible employment opportunities they deserve.


Keep ReadingShow less
Family

Two couples move in together with their kids to create one big, loving 'polyfamory'

They are using their unique family arrangement to help people better understand polyamory.

The Hartless and Rodgers families post together


Polyamory, a lifestyle where people have multiple romantic or sexual partners, is more prevalent in America than most people think. According to a study published in Frontiers in Psychology, one in nine Americans have been in a polyamorous relationship, and one in six say they would like to try one.

However popular the idea is, polyamory is misunderstood by a large swath of the public and is often seen as deviant. However, those who practice it view polyamory as a healthy lifestyle with several benefits.

Taya Hartless, 28, and Alysia Rogers, 34, along with their husbands Sean, 46, and Tyler, 35, are in a polyamorous relationship and have no problem sharing their lifestyle with the public on social media. Even though they risk stigmatization for being open about their non-traditional relationships, they are sharing it with the world to make it a safer place for “poly” folks like themselves.

Keep ReadingShow less
@boglarkagyorgy/Instagram

"The Trout," performed by Samsung.

One might expect to hear Franz Schubert’s "Die Forelle," more widely known as "The Trout," at the philharmonic orchestra. However, Boglarka Gyorgy noticed her washing machine playing the catchy classical tune. Apparently, this is a feature for a particular Samsung line of washing machines.

Being a professional musician herself, she couldn’t resist the urge to grab her violin and perform an impromptu duet with her appliance—and then post it to Instagram, of course. The result was a hilarious, impressive and viral hit.
Keep ReadingShow less
Democracy

Surprising Australian interview from 1974 shows just how weird it was for women to be in a bar

“You think women are going to be shocked by your language—that’s why you don’t want them in here?"

Surprising interview from 1974 shows how weird it was for women to be in a bar.

Once upon a time, things were weird. This is sure to be a sentiment that children of the future will share about the rules and customs of today, but knowing that fact doesn't stop things from the past from seeming a bit strange. In a rediscovered video clip of an Australian *gasp* female reporter in a bar in 1974, it's clear pretty quickly that she's out of place.

It's almost as if she's describing her movements like Steve Irwin would do when approaching a wild animal in its natural habitat. Her tone is even and hushed as she makes her way into the bar telling viewers how she's going to make her way to the barkeep, who also looks to be a woman. So I guess women were allowed to work in bars but not drink in them?

Honestly, that part was a little confusing for me but seemed the norm by the reporter's reaction. But what was not normal was a woman squeezing between men and ordering a drink and the men letting the reporter know that the bar was no place for a woman...unless you're the bartender. Who knows? 1974 was a wild year apparently.

Keep ReadingShow less

Self-dating is one of TikTok's latest trends.

Miley Cyrus' official music video for her new single "Flowers" is less than two weeks old, and it's already racked up a whopping 108 million views on YouTube. The smash hit also broke Spotify's record for the most streams in a single week, knocking K-pop superband BTS and their hit song "Butter" out of the top spot.

There's a reason "Flowers" is making waves. It's not only a catchy tune, but an empowering one, especially for women who've been socialized to believe they need a significant other to make them happy.

While most post-break-up songs are filled with heartache and lament and perhaps a bit of resentment, "Flowers" takes a different tack. While Cyrus sings about not wanting a relationship to end, she ultimately realizes she can give herself what she wants from a partner and it's incredibly liberating.

Keep ReadingShow less