BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — Two local companies are helping a local family not just provide needed medical equipment for their toddler, but also support the Miami Heat as well!
Read on for the details from Doc Band and Signs Now:
When Mariangela Romero found out that her son Marcel was suffering from a condition where the left side of his skull was flat, she was shocked and saddened. The specialist in Miami that she and her husband met with said the only option was to have Marcel wear a device, known as a Doc Band Helmet, nearly 24 hours a day until the skull was reshaped – which could take months if not years. Mariangela Romero accepted that Marcel would have to constantly wear the helmet, but she would not accept that the helmet had to look so medical and bare.
Luckily, Cranial Technologies of Miami, the company that supplied Marcel with his Doc Band, informed the family of Signs Now Boca Raton, a local signage and branding company, which was generously offering its design and printing services to local South Florida families at no charge. The Romero family traveled from Miami to Signs Now in Boca Raton where they met with the design team that would create a Doc Band wrap for her son.
“The reason why it was so important for us to have Marcel’s helmet designed is so people out in the world don’t look at my baby like if there is something wrong with his head but instead look beyond that and smile at his helmet and see this as a fun thing not a medical condition,” said Mariangela Romero.
Given the choice of any design for the Doc Band wrap, the Romero family said there was no question what they wanted displayed on Marcel’s helmet. “My husband Marcel (senior) is a big fan of the Miami HEAT,” Mariangela Romero added. “We decided to design our son’s helmet to feature the team on the back and his name on the front. It is truly exciting to watch the HEAT play in the championships with our son out in public so people can come up to us and cheer.”
Signs Now Boca Raton owner Mary Sol Gonzalez first became involved with the cause in 2011, when a parent of a child suffering with Plagiocephaly stopped by the Signs Now office emotional and in need of help. “The parent wanted to do something special with the Doc Band Helmet her child had to wear,” said Gonzalez. “The existing helmet was boring and plain and we decided adding a little color and a fun character would make the child and parent smile a little more.”
What began with the goal of making just one child smile has quickly turned into hundreds of smiles. Signs Now Boca Raton has already donated more than 50 DOC Band (a device for the head which consists of an outer plastic shell with a foam lining) wraps to children suffering from Plagiocephaly. It has committed to providing close to 100 more DOC Band wraps free of charge to special needs children in South Florida in 2013.
According to Gonzalez, Signs Now Boca Raton is the only business and/or organization to design and create Doc Band wraps in Florida. She acknowledges they are also one of only a few locations to do it for free in the entire country. (Other businesses require parents to mail in their Doc Band helmet and pay to have it designed, painted, etc.)
“I truly feel this is more for the parents of the children,” Gonzalez added. “It’s the parents that feel the discomfort or sadness when people look at their children. When their child is wearing a fun design on their helmet, people may still stare but typically to complement the featured design.”
Andrea Patenaude, who came to Signs Now Boca Raton in 2012 in need of a helmet for her three-year-old Logan, said: “When the time came to accept that my son would need to be fitted with a DOC Band to address his issues I was very concerned about how it would impact him. I wanted to find a way to make him want to wear it and feel good about wearing it. Signs Now Boca Raton was recommended and it was a great experience from beginning to end. They set me up with an amazing designer who not only made a fabulous design using the characters that Logan loves, but let us participate in the wrapping process. The team at Signs Now made a process filled with uncertainty, certainly great.”