Hi, my name is Ken Vantroba. My first 26 years of my life were pretty good. Growing up as a kid felt normal, my family and I would go on vacations every year, go to parks, have outings, we all just enjoyed us as a family. I played little league baseball, made wooden go carts and hung out with the other neighborhood kids. In my high school years I played lots of sports like football, baseball and even wrestling & boxing. During high school I was in a vocational work program that gave me a head start for my days after high school. A short time later I went to a local college for a few more courses to help me find myself. Years went by and I started to become a young responsible adult. I had great jobs and made good money; I owned nice cars, trucks and motorcycles; I even had my own apartment. It felt like I was going to live a normal life with lots of friends. Then on December 11th 1988 I had a severe vascular attack, in other words a stroke. Between intense care and rehab I spent better than a year and a half in the hospital. During that time I lost everything. No job in my future, my money was disappearing, my vehicles had to be sold. Also my friends started to vanish, and even my memories of that special person was fading away. I lost everything. My life became dark, empty, and lonely. In 1994 I had to wake up and start making something out of this new life. Well my mind was good enough to try and go back to college. Over the last 8 years I went to 4 different colleges and earned 2 College Degrees; 1 in Engineering Technology CAD – Machine Design and the other in Graphic Design & Multimedia. Both of my degrees I graduated with honors. I thought for sure that I could find my way back into the real world. Well, you know I didn’t. No one would give me a chance. I felt after all those years of trying to make myself better all that they saw was a poor soul in a wheelchair. I can just hear those voices in my head saying “Does that guy really think that we are going to hire him”. With no one respecting my skills and knowledge the only thing that I could do is go back to my dark, empty, and lonely life. The next thing that I find out is Sallie Mae was having the state hold back on my SSDI Benefits in order to pay off my school loan. “What else could go wrong?” let me tell you. My state caregiver hours where being cut, Now she can’t pay the bills. OH! Did I mention that I was living in her home? …Well, the problems just kept piling up. Now it’s the beginning of 2014, in a short time I’ll be 52 years old. While I’m sitting in my regular spot in that quite empty room (it’s going to sound super weird), I heard a voice in my head saying “Ken, Snap-out-of-it! Do you remember that Special person that was in your Life, well keep those memories a live. Now create something simple using your skills so other people can keep their own memories a live”. I truely think that I did, but believe me those voices; that I heard, did most of the work I only did all the graphics, sketching, and computer 3D modeling... I even created this website. So I guess that those 8 years of schooling really did pay off. I hope that you enjoy these Cuddle Spoons as much as I had making them for you. I lived 26 good years, then 26 really bad years, now these next 26 years are for you and your special memories. Let’s see where my life goes.
I've been disabled since 1988 and pretty much will be confined to this motorized wheelchair for life. It is my goal to remind you not to take your life for granted, enjoy every moment that you can, share your life with that special person. Do your best to always keep those memories alive. I created these spoons from my own life experiences and I want you to enjoy them with that special person in your life. If you still haven't found that person, Cuddle Spoons will help you create that new relationship. I promise you, this is the ultimate gift that you & your special person will never forget.