FGCU student on mission to create opportunities for people with disabilities

One Florida Gulf Coast University student is inspiring people who are wheelchair-bound to believe in new possibilities.

He’s creating something inside the university’s robotics lab he hopes will change their lives.

To do that, the 21-year-old looks to modern technology.

“Building machines that help people is something I’m very passionate about,” said Cesar Hernandez-Isidro. “It sparks a fire inside me.”

Hernandez-Isidro says the spark that started that fire for designing machines was watching his parents work the fields in Immokalee.

“My parents, they’re migrant workers. And I thought to myself, there has to be something that my parents can use to make their job easier,” he said.

Cesar Hernandez-Isidro works on his project at FGCU (WINK News)

Now, the FGCU bio-engineering senior is using 3-D printing to create a new type of wheelchair with a track he believes will allow users to go just about anywhere.

“Upstairs, go through the snow, go through sand; it should be about to go through about anything,” he said.

Hernandez-Isidro is working with North Fort Myers woman, Jennifer Lee, to come up with the design for the wheelchair.

“I have progressive intramuscular disease and it’s gonna continue to get worse, so something like that would be amazing,” said Lee.

“That would allow Jennifer to purchase just one device and use that for everything,” said Hernandez-Isidro.

He hopes the design will allow her and others who are handicapped to better get around.

“His ideas he’s coming up with can actually change a lot of lives,” said Lee.

“Cesar is a very dedicated individual,” said FGCU Bio Engineering Associate Professor Derek Lura. “He puts in a lot of time in the lab and most of what he’s doing through here has been volunteer work.”

“It’s a project I’m passionate about, and I think it has the potential to change the lives of many,” said Hernandez-Isidro.

Improving options for people with disabilities by designing them new opportunities.

Reporter:Melinda Lee
Writer:Briana Harvath
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