2012 was an interesting year…. WaterWayBabies orders grew tremendously over the summer! July orders exceeded the total number for all of 2011.
I hired two highly skilled research assistants to collate and analyze 2008-2011 order records. We learned that:
- orders were virtually evenly distributed between male and female children for each year.
- within the US, people living in the Midwest states placed the highest number of orders, followed by the SE, then West, then NE…and lastly, the SW (includes my home state of TX, sadly enough).
- orders had also come from 30 different countries outside the US, with 20 of those orders originating just within 2011! This proudly supports the WaterWayBabies’ mission to serve children and families around the globe.
- therapist use of the neck rings grew significantly each year, and therapist-generated orders increased 500% from 2008 to 2011, meaning that even more parents will know about WWB.
I also asked the RAs to read all the emails and comments I’ve saved from each of you..to see if they noticed any ‘themes’, recurrent findings, observations, or emotions, that parents or therapists have shared either about themselves or their child while using the neck rings and WWB pool. Neither RA had ever heard of WWB before beginning this project. Nor were they a parent and had no firsthand experience with disabled or special needs children. In other words, they were totally green! I wanted to make sure my enthusiasm and perhaps prejudiced beliefs about the benefits did not taint their findings. Well, it was pretty darn exciting! They refrained from discussing with each other until the day the three of us met again….
BOTH said the prevailing recurrent theme was FREEDOM. They showed me time and time and time again, how so, so many of you had related your joy at watching your child be free to move about in the water. That your child who you love so much lit up with the realization that he or she was independent, not being held by you, and moving on their own. Several of you shared with me the happy tears you cried that first time. I know because each time I get to witness it firsthand, it is very emotional. And it’s not even my own child.
So, thanks to you ALL for sharing. It is because of you that WaterWayBabies continues to grow and flourish. This weekend, I counted again and we are now in 49 countries! Many more therapists, schools, recreational facilities, hospitals and clinics are placing orders, in addition to all you parents. There is a physiotherapist in New Zealand who uses natural geothermic pools…where she can work with more kids at one time because each one is wearing a neck ring. There’s another physical therapist who uses the neck ring as part of the aquatic therapy continuing education courses she teaches across the US. So many wonderful stories… all because YOU love your child so much and do everything possible to help her or him have the best life. In doing so, you have touched my life in ways I could never have expected.