In July 2006 Ruth Everard met Fritz Miller at the Families of SMA annual conference which was held in San Diego, California. Back here in Cambridge we had seen the documentary Normal For Us that OPB produced telling the amazing story about 'the Miller twins' who come from Alaska. The twins, who have Spinal Muscular Atrophy, each used a Turbo - a predecessor of the SnapDragon - from the age of eighteen months. They have since used a chair which their father, Fritz, developed to enable them to go on benefitting from the level of mobility they had become used to with the Turbo, so it was great that the Everards and the Millers could finally meet up
The twins were by then eighteen years old and Fritz was further developing his off-road powerchair designed to cope with Alaskan terrain (the M-V chair). He initially designed it for his girls and is now also making it available to others on a bespoke basis in the USA. At the conference he had a good look at the Dragon and SnapDragon and here are few of his thoughts
"I had a great time talking with Ruth, and am very pleased to see that her family has kept going on their chair. I looked the Dragon and SnapDragon over with a fine toothed comb and can only say that NASA would be proud to have created that chair. The design, materials and workmanship are far beyond any thing on the market, including ours."
"The Dragon is at a totally different level of refinement. If we had another child today with SMA I would fly to the UK for a SnapDragon. The Dragon is a superb indoor and urban chair. When watching the little boy in the SnapDragon, he was never where his parents wanted him to be, he was too busy exploring, running up to touch things with ease. The stationary chairs just can't do that, my hopes are that with the Dragon available the light will come on for new and old SMA parents"