College student wins innovation challenge and creates clothing line for people with mobility issues

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AJ Ross has the story.

A young man who was shot and paralyzed is now using his disability as a springboard to make a difference.

He's making a big difference in the lives of other people who can't use their legs.

If fashion is art and art reflects life, Kelvin Henry's new clothing line is surely one that will inspire.

"Any way that I can help somebody like, if I have an idea, I can create something, I'm going to do it," Henry said.

Shot in his back while trying to get his little cousin's stolen bike back, Kelvin became paralyzed from the waist down in 2004.

"It definitely took me a long time to get used to using a wheelchair to get around," Henry said. "When something like this happens to you, when your mobility is affected, your lifestyle changes, you can't do things you would normally do."

Now a mechanical engineering major at Queensborough Community College, Kelvin recently won $7,500 through an innovation challenge. He won it for using 3D printing technology to create a unique part for people unable to use sewing machine foot pedals, and creating custom tailored clothes for people with mobile limitations.

"I ended up inventing a part that would let me sew with the sewing machine," Henry said. "It basically allows me to use my hands to control the machine and still allows me to move the fabric along."

Utilizing stylish zippers, Velcro and magnets, Kelvin now hopes to expand his clothing line KMatikz to an even bigger customer base, and encourage others to push past adversity and dream big.

"When they wear my clothes I want them to feel like they can do anything, like whatever life throws at you bounce back from it," Henry said.
Related Topics:
educationcollege studentdisabilitywheelchair accessibleinventionu.s. & worldNew York
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