Up in the Air: SFO to Holy Cross Hospital and back…in 24 hours

Up in the Air: SFO to Holy Cross Hospital and back…in 24 hours


Flying out of San Francisco to Dulles, VA on a Friday evening at 11:00 pm felt like a scene out of the comedy-drama film Up in the Air, but the handsome Ryan Bingham character played by actor George Clooney was nowhere to be found.

HopeNET invited TAN and Lift Labs to their essential tremor (ET) support group meeting at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Springs, MD, hosted by all the ET support groups in the Washington/Baltimore area. Lift Labs PR Person assisted HopeNET in drafting the newspaper announcement. Unfortunately, the technologies company had to cancel due to a pressing engagement, but HopeNET counted on TAN “to speak about the new high tech LiftWare spoon with a stabilizing mechanism that reduces shaking caused by hand tremors by over 70%. The spoon functions smoothly as the tremor becomes more pronounced. Attendees would be able to personally use the spoon at the meeting.”

Known for collaboration with movement disorders organizations, and its responsibility as an American Brain Coalition Board member, TAN did not disappoint HopeNET in preparing a presentation on “living with disability products.” The meeting agenda included “New innovations to make life easier and increase quality of life for people with tremors.” In addition to Lift Labs assistive device, and 2 Lift Labs smart phone apps – LiftPulse and LiftStride, paired with Power Point slides and a patient video demonstration, TAN purchased the handSteady cup and the Magna Ready shirt for the meeting. Crosswind Concepts Activity Tray was still in production, but the owners provided 2-sided flyers and a demonstration video. TAN also contacted sponsor Allsup for SSDI and Medicare printed materials. Allsup was kind to include promotional gifts – the infamous Allsup flying pigs, drawstring backpacks and pens.

TAN didn’t draw the best of seat mates for the 5 + hour flight. The a-typical George Clooney passenger kept the overhead light on to read the night away. TAN used the distraction to study articles in depth by Lift Labs, handSteady and Magna Ready that were sent in advance to HopeNET as meeting handouts. Also, TAN tested the handSteady cup for cold beverages, and kept a watchful eye on the MagnaReady shirt for signs of wrinkling in the stuffed carry-on bag. Airline food not being served like it once was did not provide a specific use for the LiftWare spoon.

handSteady in-flight review
The spill-proof lid on the handSteady cup is exceptional. The suction ring is a tight fit. There was quite a bit of turbulence throughout the flight, but the bumpy ride didn’t produce any beverage spill. The cup kept the ice and soft drink very cold. The cup is made of lightweight plastic, but feels much heavier with liquids.  Adding weight to the cup further reduces tremor.


MagnaReady in-flight review
TAN believes the MagnaReady shirt is virtually wrinkle-free! The shirt was packed for over 24 hours and did not show signs of wrinkling. The high quality 100% cotton fabric chosen by designer Maura Horton holds the shirt’s shape extremely well.  The buttons, and magnets that actually fasten the shirt are sewn on securely. Definitely getting value in purchasing this shirt that more than equals a brand name with a high price tag.

Upon landing TAN was never so glad to make a beeline for a hospital cafeteria. United Airlines didn’t offer breakfast; not even complimentary coffee or juice. The walk through Dulles Airport to Arrivals seemed like eternity. Spending hours in an unfamiliar stop-off, even the UA Club Lounge, makes one appreciate what San Francisco Airport has to offer.

Holy Cross Hospital has the state-of-the-art Auditorium. The projector, DVD, the microphone; all the components necessary for an event are housed within the podium.  There was a communication glitch in formatting the Power Point presentation, but one that didn’t create any problems. The podium’s Internet component easily retrieved the PP File from TAN’s email program.

An unknown number of HopeNET members were able to attend the two-hour meeting via a Polycom tele-conference system. The members in the Auditorium (approximately #thirtyish) were smiling friendly folks that attentively stayed when the meeting ran over. TAN was given the last presenter time slot.  The tremor advocates were great listeners that provided good feedback on the spot. They asked pertinent questions, such as “How will the Lift Pulse tremor tracking app help our tremor?” TAN shared the Rock Center article on wireless medicine to explain that monitoring tremor with a smart phone app could provide data on tremor patterns, including tremor progression.

Several members after the meeting thanked TAN for coming, provided favorable comments on TAN’s products presentation, and asked TAN why there was no layover? Good question for no day for night (nuit américaine) break from long-distance travel of over 5,000 miles.  The MLB Washington Nationals were in town playing an evening game that TAN would have enjoyed. Next time TAN will take the METRO into Washington, DC for an R&R!

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