Marcela was here in September and we did a photo shoot for Gunda Hafner with @Piotropacki. I think I talked about this in a previous blog. It was a fun day and we captured some amazing pictures for the launch of Gunda’s new collection. Marcela, known as ‘The Journey of a Brave Woman’ on Instagram, came to Europe to give a talk at the Rewalk conference in Germany and we decided that she should come a few days earlier so she could spend time with me and get to know London as my house is accessible. It was so fun to have her around. I could show her around and it looks like we are old friends and not only Insta followers. On the last day we decided to sit and film for you guys about the Rewalk and her experience ( I launched this film last month – Check it out) and we also decided to talk about fashion and representation. I put a film together of this talk that we did specially for you.
Yesterday was Marcela’s birthday so I would like to share this blog to congratulation her on that. Marcela, you are doing great work. Keep being real, keep being your authentic self and inspiring others. We love you hun.
I really hope you like it and please share for someone you think will like it and leave your comments, that are always welcome.
I am often asked how I drive a car. I guess it is easy to assume that if I don’t have use of my legs then I am unable to accelerate, brake and change gear. Having an automatic vehicle solves changing gear. Braking and accelerating are made possible by the installation of a set of hand controls, which allow me to operate the medals with my hands. Hand controls are a set of levers attached to the steering column and the pedals. I push down on the hand controls to brake and pull up to accelerate. To assist with steering I have a ‘steering ball’ attached to the steering wheel that aids enable steering with one hand whilst operating the hand controls.
I transfer from my wheelchair to the driver’s seats by putting my hands on the top of the open door and the top of the car. I grab handle in the car can be useful but our current car does not have one. Once in the car I take the wheels of my wheelchair and put them behind the front seats. I then recline the driver’s seat a little and swing the frame of the wheelchair across my body and place it on the passengers’ seat. For safety, I use the safety belt in the wheelchair.
This is how I transfer and drive. Almost any vehicle can be adapted and other people will have different solutions to enable them to drive.
Modifications that can be made to a car include:
hand controls for braking and accelerating
seat belt modifications or harnesses
wheelchair stowage equipment
In the UK the ‘Motability Scheme’ provides an affordable way for disabled people to lease a car: https://www.motability.co.uk
Mobility is important as it provides independence and gives disabled people the opportunity to take part in a wide range of activities.
I hope you’ve found this article useful, it would be great to know if you have any different methods to drive. If you do, please leave a comment below!