One of the first things you notice about Rich are his tattoo sleeves. He admits his strategy when tattooing both arms was “to give people something else to look at.” After he started to use a wheelchair following a C4-C5 spinal cord injury Rich found the stares from curious strangers annoying. Now he tells himself “They must just be looking at my tattoos”.
Well now Rich has another reason to get stared at, but this time he’s ok with it. Rich recently received his new Veloce Wheelchair and it’s bringing him a lot of attention. “I took it to the gym at G.F. Strong and people noticed it right away. As soon as I said it was carbon fiber they wanted to check it out. Everyone loved the front forks. I was definitely the centre of attention.”
The fact that the Veloce can fold is also an attention grabber. “ When they find out it folds they go crazy. Guys who use rigid chairs are kind of biased toward folders because…well because they used to look like s–t! I’m a young vain guy; I care about style. This chair definitely passes in the looks department. It’s a super looking chair”. The folding feature makes the Veloce a practical choice too. “I travel in a small car so the fact that the Veloce breaks down and folds and only weighs about 12 pounds is awesome. It makes it a lot easier to lift it across my body as I put it in the car.”
The Veloce has had a dramatic effect on Rich’s health and well being too. “I’ve been sick for the last 3 years and I’m now trying to get back into shape. Since I got this chair I’ve been outside all the time. It’s turned around my whole quality of life”. Rich also reports that within two months of using the Veloce his shoulder pain stopped progressing and he was able to completely wean off of the daily dose of Baclofen medication he was taking to manage his spasms.
Rich says his favourite thing about the Veloce is its adjustability. His vendor Daniel has tweaked the set up several times to get it just right. “Daniel’s made a lot of adjustments; he’s made it more tippy, moved the side guards back. There are so many options”.
And Rich can’t believe how much easier it is to push the Veloce, “You just touch it and it rolls. It feels like I’m pushing a cloud.” Not surprising considering the Veloce was designed for performance and weighs in at less than half of Rich’s previous wheelchair (a 34 pound rigid chair).
“Now I wake up and I want to get out of bed. Knowing I don’t have to push that heavy chair around makes it a lot easier.”
Thanks for sharing Your Story Richard.