German Aldana Zuniga
German was originally born in Honduras and currently lives in Florida. He is a student at Miami Date College. German suffered a spinal cord injury in a motor vehicle accident in 2013 and was introduced to the Falci Adaptive program from the researchers at the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis located within the University of Miami. “I find it very interesting, that even though I have a spinal cord injury, there’s a possibility for me to get in a car and drive it. This is something I would have never expected to be able to do. I’m also interested furthering advances for others to eventually take advantage of similar technologies like being able to transport themselves through driving.” said German.
Zuniga trained with the human machine interface computer system by combining the original the sip-n-puff Falci acceleration system and the brain-computer interface at the same time, to achieve throttle control. “I’m passionate about getting better, being able to work, to keep on living, to be strong, and to help and inspire everyone with or without disabilities. I’m also passionate about helping scientists and doctors in their research projects to help them find new therapies.” German explained
Zuniga’s hope is that his participation in this ground breaking program brings more attention to the Falci Adaptive Motorsports initiative and the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis. Ultimately helping these collaborative programs to grow, highlight advancement in technologies for people with disabilities and most importantly, to inspire similar projects and participation. German reminds us “To always have hope and faith, because hope leads you to keep on going and faith in God and yourself helps you to stay motivated to reach goals you couldn’t have imagined.”