Ataxia Patient Leaves Wheelchair Behind and Walks in 5k thanks to BalanceWear®

In her own words: Read about Deb’s courage in taking on September 14, 2014 Run/Walk

APPLETON, Wis.--()--Any disease or chronic illness that takes away a person’s ability to move freely can seriously affect their outlook on life. Add to it an inability to control their muscle movements and balance and self-confidence will be affected.

Deb Nett of Appleton, Wisconsin is a cancer survivor and a woman whose spirit has touched many. On Sunday, September 14th, when she participates in the Courage Over Cancer 5k, she will inspire even more. Nett has Spinocerebella Ataxia, a hereditary disease that affects her balance. Deb has two sisters and other family members who have it. A few years ago, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Not long after, she began to deal with the peripheral neuropathies, most likely caused by the chemo treatments. It made walking difficult. In 2007, she was confined to a wheelchair because of falls due to instability, affecting her even with the assistance of a walker.

She found help with her balance using BalanceWear, “Deb has been more active and has lost 30 pounds since last December,” says Cynthia Gibson-Horn, PT, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of Motion Therapeutics, Inc. and inventor of BalanceWear. “I recently met Deb in August. She is doing great! It is so exciting as we continue to hear heartwarming stories from people who are being helped with BalanceWear who have ataxia and other balance damaging conditions.”

“Deb’s story is a remarkable one,” says Steve Cookston, CEO of Motion Therapeutics, the company that distributes BalanceWear. “We are very pleased with how BalanceWear has assisted in her incredible transformation.”

The following letter is her story. Join Deb and her family this Sunday, September 14th to cheer her on as she does what was once considered impossible.

Hi all,

The 5k is on September 14th at 9 am. It will take place at Memorial Park in Neenah WI. and is the "Courage Over Cancer" through the Snowdrop Foundation. This is one I chose because of being a cancer survivor myself and also because of a high school classmate whose child was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.

Some background information: My tremors were quite obvious as a child. My father, who is now deceased, had the neurological Spinocerebella Ataxia - except back then, they couldn't come up with a diagnosis and because he responded to MS drugs, they called his condition Multiple [Sclerosis]. [There was a] period of my cancer treatment which included both chemotherapy and radiation, my ataxia worsened quickly because the cancer treatments drew the ataxia out faster although the treatment DID NOT cause the ataxia. Therefore, the Chemo Oncologist stopped chemo treatments because he felt that if we continued, I would not have any quality function. By this time, I was using a walker but continued to fall with the walker.

By October, I was fully dependent on the use of a motorized wheelchair. I remained in this wheelchair full time until December 23, 2013 when I finally received my BalanceWear Weighted Torso Vest and have not used my wheelchair or walker as well as any other assisted devices [since that time]. I also am having enough residual effect after wearing it for a few hours that I can take it off and still function for 1 to 2 hours [after taking it off]. I am blessed beyond belief and want so much for everyone to become better educated and knowledgeable about this option. Especially since "options" are all there is when no cure is available. I believe this "option" should be made available to everyone and the medical field and [the] insurance industry needs urgent and immediate awareness.

Cindy, please let me know if I can answer any other questions for you as well as when you'd like to meet.



Last month, Horn showcased a story about Terry, a woman who suffered from ataxia and was also wheelchair bound. After being fitted with BalanceWear, she was able to walk unassisted. See her story here.

For more information about BalanceWear, visit Motion Therapeutics is a provider of therapeutic products designed to improve balance, stability and mobility in many disease states utilizing patented Balance-Based Torso-Weighting® (BBTW®) technology provided in the patented BalanceWear® Series mobility products. The company’s products are designed to accelerate the recovery and rehabilitation of adults and children with balance challenges and improve the mobility, confidence and independence of individuals. Visit to learn more.

Become a fan of BalanceWear Stabilizing Garment on Facebook and connect with Cindy Gibson-Horn by subscribing to her blog. You can also find her on Twitter (@BalanceWear_MTI). View therapeutic results on Motion Therapeutics YouTube Channel.


For BalanceWear
Kathy Scott, 770-423-0561

Release Summary

On Sunday, September 14th, Deb Nett of Appleton, Wisconsin will participate in the Courage Over Cancer 5k, and do what was once considered impossible - walk without a wheelchair thanks to BalanceWear.


For BalanceWear
Kathy Scott, 770-423-0561