August 18, 2021
Christina is the mother of 2 little active boys and loves being able to keep up them. She has two Congressional Medals of Service and a Presidential Service Award. She was a ballerina, is a Cub Scouts leader, Sunday school teacher, volunteers in her community and even with her MS (Multiple Sclerosis) she was able to participate in National S'mores Day with her boys.
For RipUpMS Christina told us.
"My obstacle was putting limits on my family. My family is super important to me and not being able to do things with them was frustrating. Especially things that my kids want to do, that they should be allowed to do, because they're little boys and they should be allowed to do crazy stuff. I really wanted to be able to rip that up and say that I can do all those things now."
ThermApparel (TA): Today we're doing a #RIPUMS and ThermApparel Testimonial with Christina, one of our customers and let me give a quick introduction. Christina has two Congressional Medals of Service and a Presidential Service Award. She was a ballerina, is a Cub Scouts leader, Sunday school teacher, volunteers in her community and even with her MS (Multiple Sclerosis) she was able to participate in National S'mores Day with her boys. Welcome Christina.
Christine (CH): Thank you! I was able to accomplish so many things before my MS diagnosis, which, in a way, I'm thankful for because having MS and realizing your limitations makes you not really want to try, or reach out to do things because it's going to be hard, or you're afraid of what may happen.
For me heat intolerance is a huge factor in my MS, it's really one of my biggest symptoms. At my doctor's office they mentioned that I should try this new cooling vest from ThermApparel and I immediately was like, “Anything that can help me and not look like I have a bulletproof vest on would be great.” It's really awesome! I loved it and it enabled me to go out and try.
I still, you know, hit my limit and I know when I’ve hit my limit but it's really helped me do a lot of the things that I was afraid to do because of my heat intolerance and National S’mores Day was one of them.
I'm a mom of two little boys, they are eight and five right now, and they want to do everything. They're super duper active and they are crazy into everything outside. They want to be outside all the time, more than TV, more than computers, more than anything, it’s so wonderful. It's a blessing and a curse almost, but they really love it and being able to be outside for them on National S'mores Day was a huge thing. It was probably 90 degrees and they wanted a backyard campfire. So now we're talking, 90 degrees, some fire and sticky marshmallows. I don't know about anyone else but when I'm hot and tired I'm just cranky. I don't want to do anything, I just want to sit in the air conditioning.
I was able to put my ThermApparel Cooling Vest on and go out and just have a good time. I didn't even have to think about my heat intolerance. I didn't feel tired, it helps my legs not to feel so wobbly. So that's really great and it's very convenient for me.
I was able to take it (the ThermApparel Cooling Vest) to the New Jersey Hot Air Balloon Festival and that was one of the first places that I took my vest. It was really hot and I knew that we were going to be outside all day and they really had a great time. They were able to go on the rides. I can stand there with them and I don't have to take a break, I don't have to go in and be in air-conditioning. They don't have to follow me into the air-conditioning, they can stay out and have fun. The cooling vest lasted the whole five hours that we were there. It was really great.
It made me order another one so that I had a backup one and we took them (the boys and the ThermApparel UnderCool Cooling Vests) to Disney World and, I don't know if you remember, but I did a Now I Can story for Disney World when we went and that was a real test.
This product was so great because I put one in a little cooler bag and I carried it with me, like just in my bag. It's small enough that I could carry it in there. Then after four or five hours when it starts to get a little soft I would just switch it out. I could take it off right underneath my t-shirt because it's stretchy and it's easy to take on and off. So, I would switch it with the other one and put it into a little ziploc bag and fill it at an ice machine or I would ask someone for ice or even cold water at the water fountain and I would stick the used vest in and four hours later it's cold again and I could just switch them out. We cycled them for the whole time we were in Florida.
It was just amazing. To spend all that money on Disney World and be able to actually do stuff and enjoy it and not have to take too many breaks nor have to find a place where you can keep a giant vest in the freezer. You're able to take it with you everywhere and it pretty much goes everywhere. Even if I get a day where I don't need it I feel better knowing it's there.
We took it to the beach, we took it camping two weeks ago. My husband will be like, “You're getting a little cranky. Do you feel too warm? Maybe you should put your vest on.”, so, if I slow down, or I get a little groggy he's like, “I think you should put your vest on.”, and then it's like immediate relief.
I love my cooling vest. I have four of them now because I have a small size for certain activities and the medium one. I have black and white ones, and I can wear them with whatever I need. They fit underneath everything and, yeah, I just love it.
'm a little bigger in the bust so the fact that the cooling vests fasten underneath your bust, as a woman, that's to me the best part of the vest. You can fasten it underneath your bust, you don't have to worry about having a special bra or what you're going to wear. Your shirt still goes right over it and no one knows that I have it on. I think it's really great.
My kids like it because on a hot day they'll come up behind me and hug me from behind because then they can feel that it's cold. It really has been a lifesaver for me. This vest really has allowed me to not be afraid to go out on a hot day. I've worn it in my garden which is something that I just wouldn't normally do on a hot day.
Even the idea of going camping in the summer, if we're planning something like that, it's nice to not have to stop and think, “Gee can I really do that in the middle of July or am I going to be near air-conditioning or am I going to be too hot? Is there going to be a pool that I can swim in if I have to cool off?” I don't have to think about that.
It can go in my food cooler, it can go into the ice with the sodas and it's cold in 20 minutes, and even when it gets soft it still stays cold. It's not like it's soft and it's done cooling. You can run it underneath the sink in a restroom somewhere and it'll get cold again, it'll get hard again. I really like it. I think it's an amazing product and I think it's super duper practical for people with MS, and other conditions too, that lead to heat intolerance or make it hard for people to be outside. I can't say enough good things about it. It's really great for me.
TA: That was awesome! If there's people watching that don't have MS and don't quite understand what happens when you get hot, what happens when you overheat? What happens if you don't have a ThermApparel UnderCool Cooling Vest or you don't have access to air-conditioning or a swimming pool?
CH: It's different for everybody, for me, my heat sensitivity is my worst symptom. Being out in the heat is what zaps me the most. I feel like I have no energy at all, like after a really hard workout and your legs are jello. I feel like that. I can walk, but my legs feel very loose. I feel wobbly and I get really cranky. I feel slow, I can't quite move around as quickly. It doesn't affect me badly cognitively but I do get kind of fuzzy. I'm so focused on the fact that I'm tired and I feel hot that I can't concentrate on what people are saying or something that I might have to do, it's very, very uncomfortable.
I know that I couldn't sleep if I was out in really hot weather. Heat really inhibits what I could do with my family. I couldn't hang out when my kids wanted me to. If I was outside with them and they wanted to jump on me or play tag, or something like that, I couldn't do those things. My legs just don't go like they used to and it gets frustrating.
I used to be a ballerina. I'm used to a very active lifestyle. My husband and I hiked everywhere. We've hiked Half Dome. We've hiked a million places and that was something that was getting increasingly difficult for me because your body temperature rises as you're hiking and doing things. I just can't move the way that I used to and I feel very, very weak. I just feel like something sucked all the energy out of me. That's how uncomfortable it feels. It feels pretty terrible.
But, it’s amazing how, once you can cool down your body temperature it really does help. Being able to cool your core helps. I have a better understanding of what they say when they warn people in the summer about excessive heat and about heat stroke and knowing the signs. When your core does get too hot you feel dizzy and you feel kind of woozy. I'm lucky I have MS because the symptoms of my legs feeling weak happen before it gets to the point that I would be dizzy or pass out. I can recognize it.
I think it's an important thing to understand for anybody. People that don't have MS that are outside working. If you are a landscaper and you're mowing lawns all day, if you're a mailman or a mail woman and you're outside all day long delivering packages house to house and it's 90 degrees... That scares me just thinking about that because I know I could not walk that whole distance... But even if you don't have MS this could be a really, really helpful thing for anybody who doesn't like to be hot and uncomfortable.
TA: That’s interesting you bring people without MS up. We designed the vest specifically for people with MS. We did over 200 discovery calls with our local MS population here in Rochester, New York and they were the ones that told us that they wanted a cooling vest but something that was lightweight, comfortable and indiscreet. That's what we made and that's what UnderCool is. But, as we've gone along we have discovered that there are other little pockets of the population that are really benefiting from the vest. We have people that drive go-karts, gardeners, race car drivers and, the best one of all is, Santa Claus.
CH: I bet.I know Santa does some Christmas in July activities around here and it gets real hot for him because he's used to cold weather so I'm sure that would be a great benefit for him.
TA: Exactly! So, what is the next adventure for you and your ThermApparel UnderCool Cooling Vest?
CH: My vest and I are traveling with my family to Lake George where we're going to do some hiking and fishing. Fishing is another activity where I spend all day outside wearing my cooling vest. We've been doing a lot of beach trips and Lake George is our last big trip of the summer. We've been trying to pack in as many day trips as we can just in case things get closed down again in the fall. We're hoping that things will stay a little bit more open, especially with outdoor activities, hopefully we'll get a lot of outdoor activities done in Lake George and I will not be afraid to try any of it.
TA: We are so excited for you! Please send us some pictures and keep us updated on the Lake George adventure.
Earlier you and I were talking about our new challenge our #RIPUPMS campaign and you said you had something that you wanted to rip up so go ahead and tell us.
CH: My obstacle was putting limits on my family. My family is super important to me and not being able to do things with them was frustrating. Especially things that my kids want to do, that they should be allowed to do, because they're little boys and they should be allowed to do crazy stuff. I really wanted to be able to rip that up and say that I can do all those things now.
TA: Rip it up! Yay! It's been an absolute joy talking with you, is there anything else that you want to tell us?
CH: I think this is a really great company, I'm thankful that you guys started it. I know that you've always answered all my questions and I would recommend this to anyone
TA: That's fabulous! Thank you so much! This has been absolutely wonderful, have a great trip and I can't wait to hear about it. I know we'll talk to you soon.
CH: Thank you, you're welcome.
ThermApparel is a small business making big waves in the heat sensitivity world by designing the first lightweight, comfortable and invisible cooling vest, UnderCool. Check us out online, on our blog, or on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Instagram.
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Live Chat - www.thermapparel.com | Email - firstname.lastname@example.org | Phone - 855-232-7233 | Address: ThermApparel LLC. 40 Franklin St. 4th Floor, Rochester, NY 14620
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