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In a world full of strife, selfishness and sadness, it’s a welcome relief to read a story that not only makes you smile but you know puts a smile on many other faces as well. Such a story was “Student team works to design new walking device with real life impact for woman, maybe others” on Sept. 30.

Out of concern for her friend — whose quality of life has been limited by a gait-trainer too small and ill-designed to give her the mobility and flexibility she needs — Diane Gottheil successfully reached out to Professor Elizabeth Hsiao-Wecksler in the Department of Mechanical Engineering for help. Hsiao-Wecksler, in turn, recognizing the value of Gottheil’s mission, took recommendations to her department, won approval and, subsequently, chose four engineering students to begin work on the design of an updated gait-trainer for adults.

How can you not smile, when you think about all the lives that will be improved — thanks to Gottheil’s initial unselfish act of concern? And when the new and improved gait-trainer is available, there will be many more smiling faces — including yours and mine.

CAROL MIZRAHI

Champaign

News-Gazette