Barrie man uses DIY creativity to cope with rare condition

There's a saying that necessity is the mother of invention, and for one Barrie man, that statement couldn't be more relevant.

John Jackson has been living with a rare health condition for nearly seven years.

"I was diagnosed by a neurologist, after doing some tests, that I had a rare condition called IBM," Jackson explained.

IBM, short for Inclusion Body Myositis, is a rare condition that weakens and inflames muscles in the body. It is a progressive disease with no current cure or treatment.

After his diagnosis, Jackson found that one of his obstacles was finding accessibility aids that applied to him.

"It's awkward at first because I don't look physically ill," he said. "If you see someone in a wheelchair, you can see that they have accessibility requirements."

Jackson's condition makes it difficult for him to stand up and sit down, creating a need for that can adjust in height.

But most aids are walking aids, like wheelchairs and walkers. It's rare to find one that adjusts up and down.

The Barrie man later found a new way to pass the time and keep busy- he began creating and inventing his own aids of accessibility.

"You feel like you aren't doing anything, improving yourself in any way. I find that frustrating because I was always a do-it-yourselfer," he said. "I always tried to overcome problems that I had, so this keeps me busy - doing something I can do."

His most popular and recent creation is a lift with a twist - a mobility toilet.

Jackson created and designed a toilet seat that moves up and down to his desired height.

He also customized a chair, recliner, and walker.

While Jackson has the ability to invent new gadgets, it's not something that all people with rare conditions can do.

He says it's important that in the future, more rare diseases are recognized, and more aids are put on the market.

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