making solutions for injured veterans from the U.s. and israel
VETERANS IDENTIFY THEIR INDIVIDUAL CHALLENGES
We start with the unmet needs of Veterans, empowering them to tell us what they need and then to be a part of making the solution.
2- TEAMS OF EXPERTS COME TOGETHER TO BUILD SOLUTIONS
Next the experts get to work during a 3-day intensive make-a-thon (a making marathon!) to create innovative solutions that directly address those unmet needs.
3- A SOLUTION FOR ONE CAN BECOME A SOLUTION FOR MANY
Following each event, we work with strategic partners to develop viable solutions into products and services that can help veterans and others around the world.
Meet the 2019 Veteran Challenge Knowers
Challenge: Transferring between his handcycle and wheelchair
Brett loves to handcycle with his kids. His team developed a motorized lift attached to Brett’s vehicle designed to transfer him from wheelchair to handcycle and back again.
Challenge: A tech companion to combat PTSD symptoms throughout her day
Ginger struggles with PTSD due to Military Sexual Trauma. Her team created a mobile and smartwatch application designed to help her to get out of the house and do the things that make her happy.
Challenge: Two-arm stone lift
Disabled strength sports competitor, James Spurgin, dreamt of doing a two-arm stone lift, despite having no function in his right arm, and his team made it a reality.
Challenge: Getting up from and down to floor to play with his baby
Chris and his wife are awaiting their first child and his team created an elegant device that allows him to get down on the floor to play with his baby and then back up again.
Challenge: Using his devices so that he can go back to school
Todd is a bilateral hand amputee intent on going back to school. His team created a suite of devices and tools to help him to manage his devices and gain much-desired independence.
Challenge: controlling his devices without assistance
Marine Corps veteran, Lee Tomlin, is quadriplegic. His team integrated a number of existing voice command systems on Google Home, Netflix, and others to allow him a greater degree of control and independence.
Challenge: Automated hand stretching glove for spasticity
Veteran of the Israeli Counter Terror Unit, Uzi was looking for a solution to provide pain relief and stretching in his hands while he sleeps. His team created an ingenious device that does exactly that, on an automated timer.
Challenge: Riding a bike with both arms
Due to a brachial plexus injury, James only has one functional arm. Riding a bicycle using only one arm is particularly challenging; James wants to be able to ride more comfortably with both arms in order to get back on his bike as a way to become stronger both physically and mentally.
Challenge: Biking with her service dog
Former U.S. Air Force Civil Engineer, AnnMarie used to race bikes and competed in triathlons, but stopped riding after she got her service dog, Leigh Ann, who is now always by her side. Her goal is to get back on her bike, but she needs a solution that would allow Leigh Ann to accompany her safely.
PAST VETERAN CHALLENGES & SOLUTIONS
PARTNERS AND SPONSORS
Challenge America partnered with Israeli nonprofit, Restart, on their flagship program called Makers For Heroes. Challenge America led the U.S. delegation to the 2018 Makers For Heroes in Tel Aviv, Israel and witnessed the miraculous solutions and transformative experience that came out of it for the veterans, their families and everyone involved. Challenge America then brought the program back to the U.S. - to Cleveland OH - where the Israeli-U.S. connection will be preserved by also serving Israeli Veterans through the program. This way, we connect Veterans across borders, proving that we are undoubtedly stronger together.