One of the reasons I hardly ever use my electric wheelchair anymore (aside from the fact I cannot drive without crashing or running someone over) is that life is a whole lot easier without one. Yes, it gave me independence and meant that I didn’t have to rely on others to push me. Being pushed around in a manual chair all day can be quite frustrating and depending on who I’m out with, I sometimes feel like a big baby in a pram. However, there are a number of practical issues that arise when using a standard powered wheelchair so making the choice to go manual was an easy one.
For instance, transporting an electric wheelchair is extremely difficult because it’s such a hefty piece of machinery. I did have a Volkswagen Caravelle so that I could drive up a ramp and straight in the back but that’s the only way I could get from a to b. At least I’m now not limited in choice. With a manual chair, I can use my own car, a friend’s or even a taxi (a challenge but not impossible). The portability of a wheelchair is key for day-to-day use.
Also, the size and weight of a powered wheelchair makes the world even more inaccessible. If I’m out shopping and there’s a step (shouldn’t be but that’s another matter), I can just get my carer to slightly tip me back and bump me up. Where as if I’m in my heavy and cumbersome electric chair, the said shop is automatically off limits. In an ideal world, the electric wheelchair would be able to go everywhere but sadly it can’t. Using the lighter manual chair just means less hassle.
If only there was a sturdy electric wheelchair to give me the independence back but also have that essential portability a manual chair possesses. Turns out there is. It’s called the Freedom One Life wheelchair (find out more by watching this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9tHtkZW5UVk) but unfortunately it’s not available on the market. Alex Papanikolaou, an entrepreneur living with cerebral palsy, came up with the idea after encountering similar problems to the one’s I’ve mentioned in this post. The only problem is that his idea needs money to get off the ground.
You never know, a wealthy businessman/woman might read and want to invest. It’s an invention that has certainly caught my imagination and definitely would make my life so much better if the idea on paper ever became a real product. Freedom One Life needs all the help it can get though so launched a crowd funding campaign (see here: https://www.squareknot.co.uk/pitch/freedom-one-life/286) earlier this week in the hope that people can give whatever they can to this exciting project.
Please visit http://www.freedomonelife.com for more information about investing in the future.
Bye for now!