NF1 Patient Elana Loftspring: Making a Difference


Dr. David H. Gutmann and Elana Loftspring

This isn’t the first time we are reporting about the hard work this extraordinary young woman is doing to make a difference in the lives of individuals with NF, and I doubt it will be the last. Several weeks ago, members of the Washington University NF Center had the pleasure of meeting with Elana and her parents, and hearing about her new venture to encourage donations to support NF research, outreach programs and clinical care.

Through her business, Quackncreations, Elana creates wallets made of duct tape and sells them on Etsy at $20/wallet with free shipping. Each wallet is meticulously hand-crafted and features three pouches, one zip-locked coin pouch, six card slots and a separate ID slot. Customers can choose from a wide variety of colors and patterns, ranging from houndstooth and argyle to bacon and mac n’ cheese.


The wallets are not only durable and fashionable, but they also support the NF community. Elana donates 40% of the proceeds to support work being done by the NF Network to help individuals living with NF1. Place your order today on Etsy! Many thanks to Elana and her family for continuing to support NF outreach and care!


Nicole’s Nook: Third Party Keyboard Use Finally Introduced in iOS8!

KeyboardOne of the most significant new features of iOS8 is the option to download and use third party keyboards. Essentially, it allows for what many of us have been eagerly awaiting, the ability to use an app within an app. You can now replace the standard built-in keyboard with other custom and specialized keyboards available through the App Store. The addition of such keyboards may make typing much easier and accessible for children with NF1 who struggle with fine motor skills.

If you are interested in utilizing other third party keyboards, you are able to switch over to any of your downloaded options whenever your keyboard comes up. These keyboards may be custom, use the ABCDE layout rather than the traditional QWERTY layout, allow swipe capability, provide color or contrast and so many more options.

To download a third party keyboard:

  • Go to the App Store, locate the third party keyboard you want and download it to your device.
  • Go to SETTINGS, then GENERAL, then KEYBOARD.
  • Select KEYBOARDS.
  • Select the third party keyboard you downloaded from the App Store.
  • You can add multiple third party keyboards to choose from – simply follow these steps to add each keyboard.
  • To access one of your downloaded keyboards, simply select the globe icon within your keyboard until that third party keyboard comes up.

Please note that there are some limitations when using third party keyboards. One of which is that the microphone icon no longer appears, thereby forfeiting the option of dictation or Siri. You are also unable to enter a password or phone number utilizing third party keyboards, and any iOS shortcuts you’ve created will not be available with a third party keyboard.

Some third party keyboards to check out are:

  • Keedogo
  • Keedogo Plus
  • Keeble
  • Swype
  • Lowercase Keyboard
  • Fleksy

Go find that perfect keyboard and get those fingers moving!

Nicole Weckherlin, OTR/L
Occupational Therapist