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Lite Run technology helping people stand and walk – KELOLAND.com

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Imagine standing or even walking for the first time in many years. A device is helping people who are in wheelchairs do just that.
“I can’t believe I’m standing!” DakotAbilities client, Emily said.
It’s an emotional day for Emily. This is the first time she’s been able to stand in more than 10 years.
“Lite Run is an anti-gravity device that uses space suit technology to unweight a patient up to 50% of their body weight,” CEO of Lite Run, Mike Bankowski said.
CEO of Lite Run, Mike Bankowski did a demonstration Friday at DakotAbilities with Emily and explained how the device works.
Lite Run uses a special suit to help people stand, and even take steps.
“The brilliance of the technology is that it is mobile, and the way it is mobile is through our exosuit, and the exosuit is similar to what astronauts used in space, it’s the same technology, differential air pressure, except in space it pushes them down, on Earth, it pushes up,” Bankowski said.
Typically at DakotAbilites, to help people stand, they would use a tilt table or stand aid, which can sometimes be uncomfortable.
“There’s only a certain degree they can go because we don’t have the technology with the special pants, and watching her be able to stand straight up, as she has not stood up for a number of years as she told us, and not get light-headed, and not have her feet be in pain, is incredible,” executive director at DakotAbilities, Nathan Stallinga said.
These small steps for Emily today are a big accomplishment.
“We went 2.1 feet, but she wants to do more than that,” Bankowski said. “If you haven’t stood for 5 to 10 years, it is emotional, and it is a huge quality of life indicator.”
Some facilities in Minnesota already have the device, which costs around 100 thousand dollars. Bankowski, who is a Sioux Falls native, says he’s going to continue doing demonstrations in South Dakota and southwest Minnesota and plans to start selling nationally in a little over a month.
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