Who: Gary Letourneau, 50
Where: Siver Springs, Md.
DX: Spinal muscular atrophy type 2; diagnosed in infancy
Co-owner and chief technology officer of PaletSoft, an international business that develops interactive software for cellular phones and personal computers. Writes the programs and designs and implements software that delivers data to cell phones, while partner Mark Weber markets the product to wireless service providers.
With PaletSoft programs, service providers can offer users subscriptions to daily comics, news articles, sports information or other such information.
Gary is currently working on a product that delivers wallpapers and screen savers to cell phones; and working with Skyscraper Evacuation Systems to develop software addressing the importance of emergency communications during disasters.
Works from home in Maryland with Weber in Liberty, Mo., thanks to the Internet. Types by using his index finger on a touch pad mouse with a virtual keyboard on the computer monitor. Does a lot of cutting and pasting to write programs.
“I like the idea of creating something new. The irony is that I program cell phones, but I can’t use a cell phone. I don’t have the manual dexterity or the strength to hold a cell phone. I write the software and then other people in the company check it out to make sure that it works correctly.”