tiistai 15. elokuuta 2017

Belinda's story

Dear Chasswheel, you bring me where my mind wants to go 

Hi, my name is Belinda Monteran Leinonen (32), I live in Tønsberg, the oldest town in Norway which lies one hour south of Oslo. My father is from Finland Äänekoski, and my mother is from Grenada, Carribian. So  this makes me a Norwegian with finish and Grenadian heritage. Does that sound familiar? I would guess no.

I am born with a rare syndrome called Nail Patella Syndrome ( NPS), which is an atosoma dominat disorder that affects 1 in 50 000 people, and some spontaneously. Because of this, I got a lot of ortopedic and nerve related issues. For example I didn't know that I lacked kneecaps before I was 30 year old, so it's possible to live without, I guess. I have a bachelor degree in Information Systems and Innovation.I graduated at Vestdold University Collage in 2015, and have started a small IT-business where I work as an freelance IT-instructor and support for other companies.

One day this summer I went to the hospital for an eye-check. When I arrived, an old lady was so amazed when she saw my electric wheelchair, the Chasswheel. She studied it from top to bottom, and I saw her face turn into a big questionmark. She asked in a polite and gentle way, - with this you must have a new life? Yes, I answered. And at the same time, I was thinking of the word freedom and how much the word means.

We can take a lot for granted, but not our freedom. In my years on this planet, the amount of freedom I have had, have varied greatly. And pain have been a greater part of my life than I am willing to admit. In the first four years of my life, I did not walk. But when I finally did, I ran. So I ran for for a long time, and now, not so much. Maybe I will again someday, maybe not. I really don't think too much about the future, instead choosing to focus on the present: Where I am right now, in this moment, and not focusing on time. It feels like the world stops for a moment. It feels like I can take back the time I have lost. Some days I'm just lost and pain surrounds my every movement. Its like losing my freedom to be myself.

But what is freedom?

For me the meaning of the word have changed.  For me, the word freedom is to be self- reliant and to experience less pain and accepting my situation. I think the acceptance part is the most difficult one, but I have accepted who I am and why I need help aids like the Chasswheel -  to be me. With acceptance, freedom comes naturally.

Now I really don't care if someone looks strangely at me. It's difficult to be invisible, I am so noticeable anyway. And now I understand that people really gives a shit. Finally I'm free. For this moment I am. For a while.

I feel like the word is divided into layers. Some happy layers, some dark, some moody and they change all the time. And with every start, there must be an end-station. Everything ends, and I find comfort in this. All the feelings we experience will eventually pass. If we are sad, it will pass, if we are hurt it will pass. I know that when Im seeing blue, it magically turns pink in the end.

I was spending 9 days in Sweden for my holiday this summer, without the Chasswheel. My head was traveling everywhere, but I was stuck. Like seeing a thing but you cant touch it. When pain is surrounding my every movement. When I am dependent on another human. I feel so tiny and vulnerable and get so tired, of just being me. Like a soldier without a horse. What  I am really describing is my past life-When I thought nothing was possible. Now everything is. Chasswheel is now a part of my everyday life in almost every aspect. Thank you Chasswheel for making it possible to travel where ever my mind wants to go.

 Belinda Monteran

tiistai 27. kesäkuuta 2017

Wheels of Freedom

On Mother's Day it started, an unusual journey from Oulu to Tallinn. Traveling to Tallinn is not so unusual, but traveling there by electric wheelchair makes it extraordinary! 

Ville Jaaranto left towards Tallinn by riding his Four X. Journey was long, so some specifications to his chair were needed. Coffee is pretty important when traveling long periods on the road. As you can see from the picture below, Ville was well prepared for this trip. Ville had an assisting group with him, which helped him to succeed in his journey.

Distance travelled from Oulu to Tallinn was about 600 km. It took 3,5 weeks to travel, so it is on average about 30 km per day!

When the journey started, Ville and his team had even more ambitious goal. They were going to travel all the way to Lisbon. The problem was with the car that the assisting team had bought for the journey. There were lots of small problems with it, which eventually piled as too large problem to continue the journey. Ville and his group have said that they are probably going to try again next year.

Ville had lots of publicity and Yle is going to make a movie about his journey. Movie is supposed to be published in spring 2018. From Facebook his journey can be found by name Wheels of Freedom. There you can find more pictures and posts on the road.

The journey was made to support the rights of disabled people. It was also encouraging and perfect example of how dreams can be achieved.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wheelsoffreedommovie/?fref=ts

sunnuntai 18. kesäkuuta 2017

Summer is finally here (in Finland)

Finland is one of the coldest countries in the world. At winters, the outside temperature might be even – 30 C°. We have lots of snow and ice at winters, which makes living sometimes more difficult. Our previous blogpost was about coping with winter, but now it is gladly not time to think about those snowy, cold and dark winter mornings, because it is SUMMER! 

Finnish summer is very beautiful, as you can see from these pictures I took when I was hiking last weekend with my friend. Lakes and untouchable nature are the absolute strengths of Finland. In my opinion, going out to the nature is one of the most relaxing things you can do. Fresh air and quiet environment makes it possible to clear your thoughts and reload your brains for the upcoming days and challenges. With Four X it is fortunately possible to go to the nature easily and enjoy it's benefits.

Our hike included riding paths at the forest while listening birds singing. It was a beautiful day so we took many pictures, which I am going to post here later. After about an hour of hiking, we took a break next to the lake and ate some snacks and drank coffee. What could be better? When the break was over, we rode back to the city and finished our day by eating ice cream at the centrum of Kuopio.

It would be fun and interesting to see how you are enjoying your summertime. If you want to, you can send your own post about your summer day. I could then post it here so we all could have new inspiration to summer days and see what it is like in different countries! 
You could send your post to: mywheelchairlife@gmail.com

Great summer to everyone!


Kuten me kaikki suomalaiset tiedämme, talvella on kylmä. Viime talvenakin useaan otteeseen pimeänä aamuna – 30 asteen pakkasessa tuli väistämättä ajatuksia tulevasta kesästä. Mutta hei, nyt se kesä on vihdoinkin täällä!!! Juhannuskin jo kolkuttelee ovella.

Suomen kesä on todella kaunis, kauniimpi kuin aina muistammekaan. Suomessa on ainutlaatuinen luonto, sillä se on suurimmilta osin koskematonta ja puhdasta. Lukuisat järvet ja tunturit ovat poikkeuksellisia etuisuuksia maailmanlaajuisestikin. Four X:n avulla on onneksi mahdollista nauttia luonnosta vaivattomasti. Nämä kuvat otin viime viikonloppuna ollessani luontoretkellä ystäväni kanssa. Kuvat otin retken loppuvaiheessa kun olimme palanneet jo kaupunkiin.

Retkellämme kuljimme luontopolkuja ihaillen maisemia ja kuunnellen lintujen laulua. Keli oli todella hyvä, joten otimme lukuisia kuvia, joita tulen myös täällä julkaisemaan. Noin tunnin retkeilyn jälkeen pidimme tauon, jolloin söimme eväitä ja joimme kahvia järven rannalla. Onko mitään parempaa?Tauon jälkeen aloimme palaamaan takaisin kaupunkiin päin. Viimeistelimme retken jäätelöllä Kuopion keskustassa 

Olisi mahtavaa jos kertoisitte omasta kesäpäivästänne! Voisitte esimerkiksi ottaa päivästä pari kuvaa ja kirjoittaa lyhyesti miten päivän olette viettäneet. Jos lähetätte kuvat ja kirjoituksen minulle, voisin sitten täällä julkaista, jolloin me kaikki voisimme saada inspiraatiota kesäpäiviimme! 
Kuvat ja kirjoituksen voi lähettää: mywheelchairlife@gmail.com

Mahtavaa kesää teille kaikille!

keskiviikko 18. tammikuuta 2017

5 tips to cope with winter on a wheelchair

Winter can be a really difficult time to anyone driving a wheelchair and no matter if you drive manual or electric wheelchair. Snow is the pain in the ass, no matter how positively you think. Sometimes when you look outside the window in the morning you just decide to stay in, because there has been snowing 5 centimeters last night - too much effort! So how do you cope with winter if you decide to go out?

1. Get a proper winter tires

With a proper winter tires you can drive anywhere safely. Pneumatic tires prevent you getting slip on icy road or getting stuck into snow.

2. Put warm clothes on

It is wise to make sure you are warm! Head and hands get cold fastest to wear decent gloves and winter hat. Keep extra gloves and wool socks with you and layer clothing to keep your body warm all the time. Try to get comfortable and also remember to take a blanket with you.

3. Take care of you safety

Have fully charged batteries in as well as in your wheel and also you mobile phone. Keep a buddy or assistant with you during these winter months to have extra set of helping hands during winter months. Snow can stress anyones life so it is not good to be alone.

4. Plan extra time

Going places can take extra time, especially when it is a proper snow storm. Take also into consideration the time to dress up and all the other normal daily activities which take longer because of the snow. Make sure the wheelchair will not slide and brakes are locked while transportations. Plan ahead and take into consideration extra layers, extra traffic, extra steps -and extra time.

5. Buy yourself a mobility solution, which works!

Don't just stay at home! Figure out solutions, which are available and invest some money be able to live the way you want! Don't mind about restriction and dare to do all exiting things in life. Have a courage and find freedom to live and experience!
With Four X you are not able to only drive in  winter -you can also clear the whole front yard of the snow! (snowplough is an extra equipment)
This lovely pink Four X is capable even go up gently sloping stairs -not to mention slopes in winter! Get a wheelchair, which does not stuck into snow
Find the best suitable Four X product for you! www.chasswheel.com
www.fourx.fi / more info about Four X products

Belinda's story

Dear Chasswheel, you bring me where my mind wants to go  Hi, my name is Belinda Monteran Leinonen (32), ...