- Condition: Spina Bifida
- Prior Device: Quickie QRi
- Main Use: Home, Work, Outdoor Activities, Disney Theme Parks
What’s your story?
I live in northern Georgia with my husband and our crazy cats. I love movies, watching too much TV, and most of all, Disney. I have a blog, Rolling with the Magic, that helps people navigate Walt Disney World and Disneyland in a wheelchair.
I was born with a mild form of spina bifida called myelomeningocele—which required immediate surgery. I didn’t have any physical problems for 10 years until doctors found a tumor on my spinal cord and I had my first major back surgery. I was able to walk with forearm crutches and used a wheelchair occasionally, but about 16 years ago, I started using a manual wheelchair full-time.
Why did you choose Model M?
After using a manual wheelchair for some time, I began to look at other options. I wanted a device that provided more freedom to help this homebody get out more. After watching videos of the Model M, I knew it was exactly what I needed. It has the ability to cover different types of terrain around town, and because of its compact size, I can visit restaurants downtown and use it inside my home with ease. It does everything!
What do you like about Model M?
The Model M is almost the same size as my manual wheelchair. Getting through doors and maneuvering through tight spaces is never a problem. I work from home and the Model M has been such an asset—it allows me to carry things in my office without constantly bending over to pick up what I’ve dropped.
I also love how unique the design is. Sometimes you have to choose between style and substance, but not with the Model M. It looks great and has so many practical features, such as the seat moving forward, which makes it easy to sit at my desk or at our kitchen table. Combined with the arms that lift out of the way, I can easily transfer to my couch or booth at a restaurant.
How has WHILL impacted your life?
I’ve always been an independent person, so having to rely on my husband, friends, and family to accomplish certain tasks was never ideal. Since I started using the Model M, my confidence to take on everyday adventures by myself has skyrocketed. Small tasks like transferring or shopping are so much easier with the Model M. I’ve been able to enjoy so much more in my hometown. I can go to local parks without needing help up a hill or the movie theater and even carry popcorn. I never thought a personal electric vehicle could make such a difference. It truly is life changing!
Note: Melissa had an extensive test drive with a demo unit.