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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Participate in AFO Study

There is a group of Marquette University students here in Milwaukee doing research on AFO's.

As part of a student biomedical engineering senior design project, the students aim to design a muscle controlled Ankle Food Orthosis (AFO0 for people with drop foot, especially those with Charcot-Marie Tooth (CMT) disease.  The team is currently defining customer specification in order to capture the needs of people who currently have or have used AFO's.  The anonymous survey is one of the tools they will use in order to better understand the needs of those with CMT using AFO's.

I reached out to the student sponsor when I saw his posting on Facebook. It sounded like the kind of project the CMT community would like to help with.  They are getting feedback with the idea of improving AFO's.  I gave him a link for the Team CMT web site and he has added 3 questions for athletes about AFO's

Here is the note Miguel sent to me. Hope you can help him with his projec.t

Thank you for reaching out. I was looking at the link you provided, and I am AMAZED at the amount of CMT events, including the Marathons and Triathlons! That is very inspirational.

We have some ideas of where we envision our design to head to, and getting input from CMT athletes would provide very unique information. I personally am interested in an athletic AFO as, to my knowledge, current AFO's only provide daily ambulation assistance. I am hoping that my team will agree once they get more information on the need for such device.

A link to our anonymous and volunteer-based survey is provided below. We added a question in page 3 specifically for athletes.

Again, thank you so much Chris for reaching out. I look forward to working with people with CMT in the future! 


Author at Duathlon National Championship Tuscon 2014

Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT

Chris is a triathlete and long distance runner. She is a three time participant of the Boston Marathon.  In 2012 she finished 5th at Boston in the Mobility Impaired Division.

She was the 2012 and 2014 National Champion Paratriathlon Open Division Champion.  In 2014 she was the PC Open Champion at the Duathlon National Championship. She has qualified to represent Team USA at the Aquathon ITU World Championship in Chicago in 2015.   In 2014 she represented  the U.S. as a paratriathlete at the Pan-American Triathlon Championship in Dallas, Texas.

She travels around the country raising awareness of CMT.

She is the author of the book, “Running for My Life” that details her experience as a CMT affected athlete.

You may visit her author page at:

Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have 159 members in 30 states. We also have members in Australia, Scotland, Canada, Vietnam, Turkey, Finland and Iran. If you wish to join us visit our web site; or

CMT or Charcot-Marie-Tooth is the most commonly inherited peripheral neuropathy. It affects over 155,000 Americans (as many as MS).  It is a disease of the nerves that control the muscles. It is slowly progressive, causing loss of normal function and or sensation in the lower legs/feet and arms/hands.

Symptoms include; muscle wasting in the lower legs and feet leading to foot drop, poor balance and gait problems Atrophy in the hands causes difficulty with manual dexterity.

Structural foot deformities such as high arches and hammer toes are common.

Poor tolerance for cool or cold temperatures and many people have chronically cold hands and feet.

Additional symptoms may include fatigue, sleep apnea, breathing difficulties and hearing loss.

Additional Link
Follow CMT affected Paratriathlete Timmy Dixon

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