Parkinson's Diagnosis leads to invention - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Coach's Parkinson's diagnosis leads to invention by wife

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They say necessity is the mother of invention.  That was certainly the case for Maura Horton, wife of former NC State offensive line coach Don Horton.  In 2006 Horton was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. 

The disease started to take a toll on Don's abilities to do the most basic things.  "We were in athletics so we had to keep it quiet for quite some time because it's the kiss of death in an environment where no signs of weakness are allowed," Maura told me.  But one night after a game, there was no hiding his struggle.  Don was in the locker room unable to button his shirt.  "And I thought there weren't many things I help can help him do on a daily basis but I can figure that one out, so I went to work," and with that Maura decided to try magnets as a way to close Don't shirts.

But the concept grew when she realized the need.  Magna Ready shirts make dressing easier for arthritis patients, stroke patients, even people with minor dexterity issues.  "It's humbling truly on our web site we have a section that says share with us your stories.  And we get quite a few emails and I do read every single one of them.   And I realized I never knew people's challenges in life," Horton said. 

She uses powerful magnets to close the shirts, which on the surface look like a typical dress shirt.  But with the magnets to close them, there is no longer a struggle to get dressed.

Maura sells her shirts online.  She's got designs for men and women.  She has sold thousands.  They go for just under $65.  She says she's not getting rich with the company by any means.  She hopes the numbers grow so the price can come down even more. 

But in this business what Maura Horton has found is a lesson that has impacted her entire family! "For them to see you can take action and you can change something even if it's in a small way, it's a huge lesson that our whole family benefits from," Horton said.

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