MagnaReady makes adult, kids clothing and outerwear
Imagine waking up one morning and not being able to dress yourself. That happened to former Boston College football coach Don Horton.
In this week’s Boston Strong, how Horton and his wife turned his life-changing disease into a winning game-changer in the lives of so many others.
Don Horton coached football at Boston college for 10 years. The job came with many challenges. But the biggest challenge of his life came with a diagnosis.
“I told him his line didn’t play very well that day, and he said it was a hard day because he couldn’t button his shirt,” said Maura Horton.
It was the beginning of Horton’s struggle with Parkinson’s disease, an incurable neuro-degenerative disorder.
Maura Horton wanted one of life’s simplest tasks to stay that way for her husband. So the children’s clothing designer found a solution: replace buttons and zippers with easy-to-manipulate magnets.
“It wasn’t going to be a company. I was just trying to help my husband,” said Maura Horton.
But she quickly realized so many more people could benefit.
“People with rheumatoid arthritis, stroke patients, ALS, wounded warriors — the list goes on. There are so many people that have the challenge of dressing themselves and doing fine motor skills that it’s been overlooked for such a long time,” she said.
MagnaReady sells shirts for men and women, kids’ outerwear and hospital gowns. Next month the company is teaming up with the Michael J. Fox Foundation. A percentage of the proceeds will go to research for Parkinson’s disease.
“There is no home run until there’s a cure,” said Maura Horton.
For those who can’t dress themselves at all, MagnaReady clothing helps caregivers, too.
At the Campus School at Boston College, severely disabled children don MagnaReady jackets.
“The Magna-able technology will allow us to quickly get the child into it and close it and get from point to point,” said Kristin Moren, a parent of a Campus School student.
The Hortons now live in North Carolina, where Don coaches high school football.
Maura Horton said her husband is proud of what she’s created, a business that helps people struggling to do what so many of us take for granted.
“I would like to see dignity restored to many people,” she said.
Don Horton had brain surgery, which increased his mobility tremendously.