Founder and President
Daniel studies engineering (robotics) at Arizona State University’s Ira Fulton Polytechnic school. He is a junior, set to graduate in May 2019, currently in the top 1% of his class. He has been awarded the Future Engineering Business Leaders (FEBL) Scholarship as well as the San Tan Ford Scholarship for academic excellence and entrepreneurial vision. Representing DKtherapeutics’ AmbulAid venture, Daniel has competed with hundreds of his peers and been awarded money four times from ASU’s Venture Devil’s entrepreneurial program, winning the top prize in the eSeed program as well as the top prize in the Glowing Minds Consumer Product challenge.
On April 28th, 2012, Daniel broke his neck in a wrestling accident. He suffered a complete C6-C7 spinal cord injury, paralyzed from the chest down. With enormous support from his friends and family, Daniel has been lucky enough to attend some of the best neurological rehabilitation clinics in the country. Over a period of four years he attended physical therapy regularly and recovered more function and sensation than his surgeons and doctors thought he would. He was even reclassified as an incomplete injury 6 months post (an exceedingly rare occurrence).
In the summer of 2015, Daniel moved from the Chicago area to Phoenix. He immediately searched for a clinic at which to continue his treatment. However, to his surprise, even the clinic with one of the best reputations in the valley didn’t have the means or equipment to effectively perform gait training with him. In October of 2015 Daniel worked with a medical expert in the area of locomotor and gait training to design and build a tool which would enable him to again train his gait, walk in a walker, and continue pursuing recovery. That tool was the AmbulAid.
Ray Thurston graduated Utah State with a Bachelor of Science and was the Founder and CEO of SonicAir, a specialty transportation and logistics company headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona, for twenty years until its sale to UPS in 1995. After the acquisition, Thurston moved to Atlanta and assumed the position of Chairman of the UPS Logistics Group where he set the strategy for the fastest growing part of UPS. He is an expert in supply chain management working with many industries, including medical, in the redesign of their processes.
He was the recipient of many local and national awards including: Arizona Governor’s Award for Quality; ASU Entrepreneur of the Year; U of A’s Entrepreneur Fellowship; Inc. Magazine Entrepreneur of the Year; 4 Anderson awards for quality and innovative practices.
He is an active board member of TGen Foundation and Shamrock Foods, dedicating his time and energies to improved business processes toward measurable outcomes as well as strategic issues.
Currently, he is an active investor in a number of companies.
Sakina graduated from Northern Illinois University with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy in 1999. Following graduation, she worked at Advocate Christ Hospital Medical Center as a practicing clinical physical therapist. The majority of her practice at that time centered on individuals with a variety of neurological conditions. She worked in both inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation. In 2001, she joined the Rehabilitation Institute of St. Louis and began a sub specialization in treating individuals with traumatic spinal cord injuries.
Her postgraduate training includes a clinical doctorate in physical therapy with a focus on neuro-rehabilitation obtained in 2007 from Rosalind Franklin University and several intermediate and advanced courses in locomotor training, FES cycling, whole body vibration and aquatic rehabilitation. She has her clinical speciality in neuro-rehabilitation. She possesses advanced certifications in gait training individuals with quadriplegia and paraplegia with the ReWalk and the Indego exoskeleton. She is also a Certified Clinical Instructor Affiliate (CCCE/CI) through the American Physical Therapy Association. She was an educator for the Wayne State University Physical Therapy doctoral program in Detroit, Michigan, as well as other universities and colleges that have Physical Therapy Assistant programs in Illinois. Sakina’s clinical expertise lies in Advanced Locomotor Training for individuals with spinal cord injuries and in using a concomitant of novel approaches to maximize neuromuscular recovery in individuals suffering from paralysis. She has presented seminars in Activity Based Rehabilitation because of her unique expertise in this area.
In 2010, NextSteps was designated as a Community Fitness and Wellness Facility under the Christopher Dana Reeve Foundation’s NeuroRecovery Network (NRN), one of only 6 in the country. The locomotor research trial and program focuses on the use of treatment interventions to promote neuroplasticity and maintain health and fitness for the SCI population. Sakina serves as the supervisor of NextSteps in the NRN and oversees the collection of data and outcome measures. Sakina is an active member of the American Physical Therapy Association including the Neurological and Education sections. Sakina is currently the Principal Investigator in a clinical trial being conducted at Next Steps Chicago, which focuses on a comparative analysis of the ReWalk and Exoskeletons as personal mobility ambulatory aides for individuals with chronic spinal cord injury. The trial primarily purports to seek whether frequent use of the exoskeletons improve the quality of lives for individuals with chronic SCI, and seeks to assist physical therapists establish a prescriptive value for the exoskeletons when working with patients with SCIs.