Vandana & Ankur Patel

1. How did you first hear about We Rock the Spectrum Kid's Gym?

I first heard about We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gym while I was online looking into therapy facilities for my daughter. As soon as I learned more about We Rock the Spectrum and their mission to provide a place where “You Never Have to Say I’m Sorry”®, I knew this was something I had to be a part of.

2. What inspired you to open up your We Rock the Spectrum gym?

My daughter, Zara, inspired me to open my own We Rock the Spectrum gym. My goal was to provide her and other kids of ALL abilities a safe, fun, and inclusive environment to play in. In addition, as a part of the special needs community in Florida, I wanted to be a resource outside of therapy facilities, a space that could help these kids reach their highest potential.

3. What is your background with the special needs community?

My daughter, Zara, has Angelman Syndrome. As a parent to a special needs kids, I went to multiple medical providers and therapy centers, where I met a community of families with kids of ALL kinds of abilities.

4. What has been the most inspiring moment at your gym?

Every day brings a new inspiring moment! But the excitement I see on the kids’ faces after they try the zip line for the first time has to be my favorite. The smile on their faces from experiencing something new is priceless.

5. What is your favorite piece of equipment in the gym?

My favorite piece of equipment has to be the zip line. Like I mentioned, seeing the kids trying out the zip line and loving it is extremely heartwarming to watch.

6. How have you seen We Rock the Spectrum benefiting your community?

I’ve seen my We Rock the Spectrum gym benefit the Fort Myer’s community so much. Providing an inclusive place for families to bring their kids of different ages and various abilities has been the main benefit. We Rock the Spectrum – Fort Myers gym has created a space where children can bond and play together without having to say sorry. It has become a critical resource outside of therapy facilities, providing access to equipment that can help their kids with sensory and motor development through play.

7. How has being a part of the We Rock family impacted your life so far?

Being part of the We Rock family has been such a rewarding experience. I never thought I would find my passion, but ever since opening my own gym, I have realized my passion is to help children like my daughter feel safe while helping them reach their highest potential.

8. What advice would you give to yourself when you first started the process of opening your WRTS?

One piece of advice I would give myself is to be patient with the process because it will all be worth it in the end.