More than six years ago, Rachel Lapidus went into cardiac arrest for reasons doctors still can’t describe. Her heart stopped beating for eight minutes, leaving her intellectually challenged.
Her parents, Randy and Robin Lapidus, could have given in to a prognosis that didn’t provide much optimism. Their daughter had to relearn how to read, write, count and comprehend concept of time.
Instead, they got to work and used the situation as an opportunity to help others.
First they started a mobile ice cream business, Neat Treats, to give Rachel experience dealing with people to rebuild her social interactive skills and develop work skills. It also offered residents of Columbus neighborhoods treats to satisfy their sweets cravings.
Most recently, in mid-October, they opened a specialty hot dog restaurant, Special Dogs & More, in FairOaks Mall. What’s unique is that it has a focus on providing opportunities for people with special needs. It has given jobs and hope to other young people with developmental disabilities, while also filling business and workforce development niches.
What Rachel and Robin Lapidus have done is commendable, taking a situation that impacted their daughter and family and finding a way to benefit others. Outlooks like that help make the community better.