Ralph Lawrence ’64 thought retiring
meant more time for golf, volunteer work
and family. Instead, he spends his days
making children smile.
Lawrence’s story begins with his grand-
daughter Autumn who, at 7 1/2 months,
was diagnosed with leukemia in Novem-
ber 2005. After more than 97 weeks of
chemotherapy, she relapsed but received a
bone marrow transplant in January 2008
thanks to baby brother Leif. When she
returned home, she had to have a port in
her chest with an IV hookup that she had
to use 21 hours a day.
She couldn’t get around the house,”
Lawrence recalls. “She was banging into
walls. Having that thing made her just as
immobile as she was in her hospital bed.”
Lawrence looked for something that
would help, but found nothing. Then,
during a conversation with his son while
admiring Autumn’s growing doll collec-
tion, he had an idea.
Autumn had a baby carriage she
carted her dolls around in,” he says. “We
thought, ‘Why not strap the IV pole to
it with some bungee cords?’ I went to the
garage, shortened the pole and attached it
to the carriage. Suddenly she had endless
mobility and freedom.”
Autumn’s newest toy caught the at-
tention of her nurse, who told Lawrence
the product could help a lot of children.
That’s when I knew we could go beyond
helping Autumn,” he says.
After several months of meetings
and planning, Lawrence introduced the
MoveAround IV Buggy, which features
a removable shortened IV pole, easy-to-
clean plastic cart, adjustable handlebar,
four swivel wheels and even a slot for a
sippy cup.
We help children feel better about
themselves,” he says. “I think their love of
pushing carts is in their DNA. Children
with a buggy get more physical exercise,
improve their appetite, and have a reason
to get out of bed, have fun and smile.”
More than 100 buggies had been sold
by last summer. They can be found in
hospitals, outpatient clinics and private
homes throughout the country. Nearly
percent of sales are through donations.
Most individuals or organizations buy a
buggy and send it elsewhere to a child in
need,” Lawrence explains.
Lawrence retired as chief operating
officer of Hyde Manufacturing Company
in 2003 and has applied his nearly 50
years in sales and marketing in starting
Lawrence Medical Products, his own
business. “I was doing everything – nam-
ing, logos, product design, cash flow,” he
says. “I took what I knew and just made
it happen.”
He and wife Penny live in Coventry,
R.I., close to their four sons and seven
grandchildren. “Autumn is doing great
and celebrated her seventh birthday last
March,” he says. “She’s the only grand-
daughter, so she’s the queen.”
If you know of a child, hospital, home
or clinic in need, consider donating a
buggy. For more information, visit www.
Ralph Lawrence ’64
by Meg Bernier ’07, M’09
The Move Around IV Buggy, invented by Ralph Lawrence ’64, gives sick children
newfound and liberating mobility.
photo provided
A Buggy F it for a QUEEN
FALL 2012 | St. Lawrence University Magazine 19