On the Run

Tim Patching demonstrating his Rickshaw in Use
Tim Patching demonstrating his Running Rickshaw.

Tim Patching OTD ‘17 loves to run.

But at 6-foot-3, the father of six just can’t manage a jogging stroller.

“I’m an athlete, and I want to do things with my kids,” he said.

Several years ago, Patching watched his oldest daughter drive a cart behind miniature horses, and the image struck a spark.

Why push a stroller when he could pull a cart?

That image became the impetus for his running rickshaw, the first of two projects Patching completed as a two-time Berglund Center Fellow at Pacific University.

Rickshaw Illustration
Digital Illustration of Tim's rickshaw.

Patching, a former special education teacher who lives in Tillamook, Ore., is a third-year student in Pacific’s doctoral program in occupational therapy.

Occupational therapy focuses on helping people to adapt their environments in order to pursue the lifestyles they want. It’s a field that is perfect for a budding inventor, because it’s all about modifying tools to help people do what they want.

Patching ran a 10K race with his wife and child in tow in his first running rickshaw prototype. Now he’s working on developing a hemi-walker as a second-time Berglund Center Fellow.

The three-in-one medical device folds from walker to high-seated stool, an idea born of his experience in occupational therapy school.

“It was really nice having business students working the marketing side, meeting a lawyer, and learning how to start a business,” Patching said. “All the ins and outs were not my side of things, but there were people into that who could advise me.”

This story first appeared in the Summer 2017 issue of Pacific Magazine. For more stories, visit pacificu.edu/magazine.

Friday, June 30, 2017