“You know full well as I do the value of sisters’ affections: There is nothing like it in this world.” – Charlotte Bronte
Cindy shares a very special bond with her older sister, Marci, one that grows stronger each day now with the help of technology. When Marci moved away from Columbia last spring, Cindy’s support team began brainstorming ideas for how to get Cindy the ability to connect with her family easily and at her discretion. “We’re a very close family,” says Cindy. “It is very hard not to get to see my sister all the time.”
Cindy was already keen on traveling, and has flown to visit her sister in Seattle two times since she’s relocated. “She has flown out of Kansas City and is getting quite good at it,” says Matt Hoff, the site supervisor at Team 12. “We drive her up to the airport and make sure she gets on the plane and we are there when she gets off the plane returning home.”
The cost of flying adds up quickly, however, and it just isn’t feasible for Cindy to fly as often as she’d like to see her family, so her team brought up the idea of getting Cindy an iPad so she could communicate with her family no matter where they were.
This Christmas, Cindy received her iPad and has thoroughly enjoyed emailing her sister, niece and great nephew on a regular basis. “Sometimes it takes me a while to type out my note, but I really like using the iPad,” she says. When typing takes too long, Cindy has also learned how to video chat with Marci using iPad’s FaceTime application. “It’s so wonderful to see my sister’s face when we’re talking,” says Cindy. “It’s almost as good as seeing her in person.”
The iPad has opened up a whole new world for Cindy and she grins from ear to ear as she describes catching her sister in her pajamas one night on FaceTime. “She was working on some needlepoint in her pajamas while we were talking. It was pretty funny. I’ve also been able to talk to Oliver (Cindy’s great nephew) who is 10. I really like using it.”
Cindy says she’s learning more and more about her tablet as she uses it. She’s discovered an app for coloring and she also enjoys listening to music through the Pandora app. “I’m sure there’s a lot more to learn, but my favorite thing is talking to my family.”