- Gender: Female
- Condition: Spinal Cord Injury C5-C6
- Prior device before: Jazzy Select GT
- Main use: Mentoring, outdoor activities, public transportation
What’s your story?
I am a sailing enthusiast and spend my leisure time competing in regatta events locally, regionally, and nationally. Even though I injured myself nineteen years ago, this hasn’t stopped me from enjoying this activity. Therapy has helped me recover and continue doing the things I love, and I haven’t stopped pursuing my interests. I’ve remained active in my community, getting involved with numerous civic community services and mentoring future engineering students at a university nearby.
Why did you choose Model M?
I heard about WHILL from a friend at Google, who told me that their team from Japan would be stopping by Google Campus for open test drives. Since I live in the area, I decided I should see what this was all about. I was very impressed with Model M’s performance and unique features that would fit easily into my active lifestyle. The design is very sleek and beautiful, giving it a one-of-a-kind look that makes it stand out from other powered wheelchairs. Every feature on Model M fits my vision of a mobility device, especially when it comes to commuting. My weekly schedule is very busy, with several appointments and lots of traveling. In my personal mobility device, moving about indoors is challenging, but with Model M, it allows me to maneuver freely in tight spaces because of its compact design.
What do you like about Model M?
As someone who regularly uses public transportation, I need a device that functions smoothly on trains and buses throughout the Bay Area. Model M provides that functionality for those days of traveling. If I need to stop somewhere for food, I like to sit comfortably while I’m eating, but sometimes I can’t find a table that accommodates my own device. One of the best features about Model M is that its frame is not only compact but also adjustable, so it can be customized for every user. A typical power chair is simple and boring, a common bench chair placed on top of a boxed motor. Model M goes beyond the ordinary and can even function as contemporary seating furniture, an element that current devices lack.
How has WHILL impacted your life?
When I’m sitting in Model M, I am part of the environment. I feel included, confident, approachable and, most importantly, Model M does not occupy other people’s space. Model M gives me physical and emotional security in any setting, and I feel confident when using it.
Note: Fernanda had an extensive test drive with a demo unit.