Imagine a wheelchair complete with water-resistant comfort seating and components to give the body a total workout — a chair with locking mechanism, hand grips and a drink holder that will even allow you to glide. This was the vision of Fred Carlo, who invented the Genesis Range of Motion Therapeutic Chair in 1992.
“God inspired me to build this chair when my sister had to undergo several surgeries, which affected her physical health,” Carlo said before presenting the first Genesis chair off of the production line to Rachel Abee. At two years-old, Rachel was diagnosed with a rare brain abnormality that caused profound mental retardation, cortical blindness, epilepsy and cerebral palsy. At five, she was introduced to Fred Carlo, who was attending a fundraiser to supply Rachel’s mother with a van. Soon thereafter, Carlo visited Rachel’s home to demonstrate his new creation in hopes that the chair would increase the physical activity in her arms and legs.
Rachel, who usually remains in a fetal position, managed to raise her face and both of her arms over her head, which her mother said was an impossible feat. She was even seen smiling, though physicians had previously indicated that Rachel would never be able to use her facial muscles. Rachel’s mother, Martha Abee, has deemed the chair a “miracle chair” and is optimistic that it will help tone Rachel’s feeble muscles. She is so confident in the benefits of this chair, she even mentioned hopes of the chair being covered by insurance one day.
Rachel's story, like hundreds of others, is the motivating force behind the products at Genesis Chairs. “I know that these products will revolutionize therapy for those who are physically challenged,” Carlo said.