My name is Freddie Feldman I am an engineer, musician, and inventor of a throat microphone I designed for beatboxers back in 1999 called The Thumper
. A woman named Jenny Parkes in Ireland found my Kickstarter project
(to develop new model of my mic) 2 years ago and asked if I could make a special throat mic for Ben and Joe (we call them "the Lads").
The Lads have Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
, a debilitating condition that has mostly paralyzed them and requires them to be on BiPAP breathing machines for most of the day. While wearing their breathing masks, it is difficult to wear a regular headset to Skype and dictate. Their minds work perfectly well, but they are essentially blocked from communicating while on this form of life-support.
I can definitely build microphones for the Lads, but I cannot just ship them "across the pond" to the UK and hope they work. I need to travel there from Chicago and work with them for a few days, tweaking the design and the programming of the microphones to work for their unique situation.
I am doing my best to contribute what I can as well. During this fundraising campaign, I will contribute all profits from sales of Thumper throat mics to this project. Anything you are able to contribute, as a gift to the Lads, would be amazing. They are now 27 years old and have outlived their diagnosis by many years. They are fighters and an inspiration.
January 20th - April 1st, 2014: Fundraise using YouCaring.com
April 23rd - April 27th, 2014: Freddie and Sam (camera man) will fly to Preston, UK, where the Lads currently live, armed with two custom-built throat mics, testing equipment, tools, and get them going with their new gear.
We've raised our minimum goal of $3000!! This will go towards:
- building two custom-built throat microphones for the Lads
- extra throat straps (5 for each lad)
- purchase of Philips Swift LT nose-pillow mask and tubing (for testing)
- Freddie's travel/lodging from Chicago to Preston, UK in April 2014
Once we raise $6000, we will be able to:
- fly Jenny Parkes in from Ireland to work with us
- purchase new copies of Dragon Dictate for the Lads' computers
- build two prototypes of the new "SIMBA" microphone I've invented for the Lads, as well as others with muscle disease, to use. This is a different type of microphone from the throat microphone I have built for them.
- travel for our camera man, Sam, plus rent/purchase video equipment (video lights, harddrive) for filming everything for a video we're producing about The Lads Project.