Cedar Rapids Man Creates Scooter to Help Granddaughter with Dwarfism Walk

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By Ellen Kurt

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - A little girl with dwarfism has learned to walk thanks to something her grandfather made.

Bob Sternowski, a former engineer for Rockwell Collins, saw his granddaughter, Ellie Nurre, struggling to walk at 2-years-old and knew he had to do something about it.

"Once an engineer, always an engineer. I thought I'll come up with an answer for that," Sternowski said.

He said Nurre was having trouble walking because she had a larger head than other toddlers and her neck muscles couldn't support it.

So he created a scooter, that's kind of like an adult walker with wheels on the bottom and the ability to turn 360 degrees.

He says by the end of the first week, she was running with the scooter and six months later she didn't need to use the walker anymore.

"Her doctor who is a specialist in dwarfism was amazed," Sternowski said.

During the six months that she did use it, the family took the scooter everywhere and interest for Sternowski to make more scooters grew. He's sent them as far away as California and the East Coast.

"This started out as an idea that didn't begin as a big project. I was just trying to solve something for my granddaughter's problem," he said. It makes me pretty proud to do that and a chance to kind of give back to the community."

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