Get the full story on the Glove 4 Glove program here!
If you have ever been to an electronic dance music show (ever) whether it be a festival or club show, you cannot possibly miss the ‘glove crew'. The crew with neon lights attached to their finger tips, creating spectacular patterns of bright LED trails with seemingly no effort, drawing the crowds eyes closer and closer into a trance-like state of mind (whoah, almost got lost myself just thinking about it). Well, considering you know exactly what and who I'm talking about, what if I told you that the act of ‘Gloving' can actually have therapeutic uses in medicine?
Meet Matthew Fernandez. He is seventeen, paraplegic, and deals with Cerebral Palsy every single day. One day his older brother Mike, who is active in the electronic dance music scene and a Glover himself, found him attempting whips and other hand gloving movements that he had seen Mike do in videos from other music festivals. From this point on, Gloving has forever changed Matthews life.
“If it wasn't for him taking up Gloving as a hobby, we would have never realized the therapeutic properties that Gloving has.” – Moses Albo (Emazing Lights)
For Matthew, Gloving is a dance with a greater purpose. It enables him to express himself freely and serves as a medicinal and therapeutic forms of physical and emotional therapy. After Gloving for about two months, Matthew's family noticed a drastic increase in his finger dexterity and mobility in his arms. Seeing this huge improvement, Matthew's family immediately called the manufacturer of the gloves, ‘Emazing Lights', to tell them his story.
“Within a few months of watching him Gloving, we noticed extreme advances in his hand movements being able to grip items. His therapists have also seen the differences.- Mike, (Matthews Brother)”
Now, some of you who watch the show, ‘Sharktank', (the show where current CEO's and small business owners pitch to a board of investors, including Mark Cuban, to help invest in and grow their business) may remember the episode where CEO and Founder of Emazing Lights, Brian Lim, successfully pitched his business to the board and received funding to grow his business into an empire.
After Matthew's mother reached out to Emazing Lights, the company immediately decided to get Matthew and his family to the facility for an extensive tour and to meet the staff members. Brian took some photos with Matthew and posted it to Emazing Lights social media pages and didn't think much of it. What Brian didn't know, was that those social media post would change Matthew's life!
Due to his condition, Matthew wasn't the most popular guy in school, but when he returned from his trip, Matthew immediately felt the love from those in the electronic music scene. They greeted him and explained to him how awesome it was to see him on EL social media pages. To say the least, Matthew is currently a superstar in his high school, and more importantly, persuaded Matthew to spread the word by donating LED Gloves to his impaired classmates and others alike. This inspired the ‘Glove 4 Glove' program at Emazing Lights.
“Before getting involved in gloving, he was extremely under his shell, very shy, not confident at all with meeting people. Now, he's broken out of his shell, he talks to everyone who approaches him. Seeing all the support he gets on social media from people all around the world makes me happy. It really lifts his spirits and gives him the inspiration and motivation to keep thriving.” -Mike, (Matthews Brother)
Nobody ever expected Gloving could provide medicinal uses, but as a token of Emazing Lights appreciation, they dedicated a page to Matthew, his story, and a charity initiative that would have never been founded had Matthew never picked up Gloving. The Glove 4 Glove program is dedicated to carrying out Matthew's vision by donating Glove sets to those with needs all over the world.
“Matthew is a role model for others like him, he is living proof that people with physical disabilities can still dance. It's awesome to see a kid grow from being an average person to a local celebrity overnight.” – Moses Albo, (Emazing Lights)