Tim Patching OTD ‘17 loves to run.
But at 6-foot-3, the father of six just can’t manage a jogging stroller.
“I’m an athlete, and I want to do things with my kids,” he said.
Several years ago, Patching watched his oldest daughter drive a cart behind miniature horses, and the image struck a spark.
Why push a stroller when he could pull a cart?
That image became the impetus for his running rickshaw, the first of two projects Patching completed as a two-time Berglund Center Fellow at Pacific University.
Patching, a former special education teacher who lives in Tillamook, Ore., is a third-year student in Pacific’s doctoral program in occupational therapy.
Occupational therapy focuses on helping people to adapt their environments in order to pursue the lifestyles they want. It’s a field that is perfect for a budding inventor, because it’s all about modifying tools to help people do what they want.
Patching ran a 10K race with his wife and child in tow in his first running rickshaw prototype. Now he’s working on developing a hemi-walker as a second-time Berglund Center Fellow.
The three-in-one medical device folds from walker to high-seated stool, an idea born of his experience in occupational therapy school.
“It was really nice having business students working the marketing side, meeting a lawyer, and learning how to start a business,” Patching said. “All the ins and outs were not my side of things, but there were people into that who could advise me.”