Wednesday, June 24, 2015


If you use wheels for legs like we do, then you know all about the potential for flat tires. It's why I opt for "no-flats." After one too many flat tires on my power chair, it seemed like the best solution. However, they only work if you can handle feeling every single bump and crack. Craig's pain is amplified by bumps and cracks, so pneumatic (air) wheels work best for him. For the last year however, he has had one rear tire that springs a leak far too often. Even more mysterious, the leak is

always near the same spot on the tube.

This video is about looking for the reason behind the annoying leak. Lo and behold, he discovered something we never would have known about if he didn't look for a cause. It wasn't a tack, a pin, piece of glass or a and see. We figured we should share the discovery, incase it happens to you or someone you know. Then you won't have to go through the repeated frustration we did. Even better we are trying a solution to stop it from happening again.

You may be surprised at what caused his leak.

Take a look.
If you have had this experience, let us know. If you have any questions about wheelchair maintenance, we'd love to hear from you. Between Craig and I, we have over 50 years experience of using power and manual wheelchairs. So we know a little bit that can help. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Bridging The Gap!

Recently our under van lift made by the Braun Corporation hasn't been working so well. Thanks to God's leading, by putting the idea into our head, we were able to call on a good helpful friend Maurice, to make what we needed to make our unusable lift, usable. We are waiting for the part to get the lift totally fixed, but frankly, I feel safer with our new aluminum bridge. Not sure what I am talking about? That is why I am posting the "Thank You" video about this very subject.

Under Van Lift vs Inside Van Lift.
Our lift is called an "under Van Lift" which means it stores or stows away under our van. The one I grew up with that my folks had was the more typical inside van lift. It takes up interior space and would hinder me being able to sit beside my husband while I drive. See a previous video all about our wonderful van below. (or click here)

We'd love to hear from you. If you have a van lift or any questions, feel free to email us at or comment below~

Yay, Craig Gets Relief - His First Quickie Xtender Power Assist Wheels!

Watch Craig's First Day With His New Quickie Xtender Wheels (click here to see the video)

Free Wheelin'
Here are a few photos of Craig taken day he finally received his new Power Assist Wheels made by Quickie Xtender. He has had them now for a month or so and he is loving them. May 20, 2016, was the first day he got them (the day these photos were taken) We live in Ontario, so we haven't seen how well they will do in our lovely winters or if he encounters serious rain. In fact he was warned that they are not waterproof per-say, but obviously he would be able to flee if rain came down.  Not going to worry about that, just enjoying them for now. He actually first learned about them when he saw a friend cruising uphill in the middle of winter, so that should prove he will be okay in our unending winters.
Power in the Hub
Craig has hurt his shoulders on more than one occasion due to the fact that wheels aren't meant to be his arms. A common issue for persons who have pushed their own wheels for decades. His injuries to his rotator cuffs (one on each shoulder) occurred while he was transferring from his bed to his wheelchair. Meaning, when you use your arms for legs and you injure those "legs," you still need to use them to get around, kind of difficult to rest the injury. It is why these wheels came highly recommended by his physio therapist. He still has to push and use his shoulders and arms, but these amazing wheels are created with sensors in the rims, that are connected to the reliable Yamaha made motors, in the hub of the wheel and then connected to the small battery pack that you can see on the back of his chair below. The harder or faster he pushes, the chair will pace itself accordingly. It is super cool.

Freedom! Craig's first day using his new power assist wheels.
He has felt the greatest relief when he does our grocery shopping. Trying to push a cart with one hand and his chair with another, especially with those stubborn  shopping cart wheels. Not too mention the weight increase as you add more and more goodies.
And the added bonus? His sheer enjoyment just being able to go up the many hills in our neighbourhood! I am so happy for him.
Power Means Freedom!
I remember when my muscles were weakening to the point that pushing my manual wheelchair down the long halls of my high school in the eighties, was daunting. When I was about seventeen, I was blessed with my first power wheelchair! The sense of freedom was incredible. No more having to depend on others and no more slowly creeping down the halls, bit by bit...struggling to move my wheelchair and myself, to my classes. The difference between my wheels and Craig's? A power chair is driven fully by motors and two large batteries, about the size of car batteries (making my present power tilt chair weigh at least 250 pounds - without me in it!). The chair pictured below, was driven with rubber drive belts that powered the large rear wheels. My modern chair (picture below the ancient 80s one) has much smaller rear wheels and no drive belts. I believe they are called direct drive wheels, the front ones are regular wheels with no motors). And as you can see, my newer chair has tilting capability. It makes dental appointments and movie watching a dream. Literally, a dream, I fall asleep really easy when laying back like that!

Craig doing it the old fashioned way - 100% ARM POWER!
Highly Recommended
So if you are blessed like we are, in a country where mobility devices can be partially paid for with government programs, insurance settlements, Workers Compensation, or if you want to invest without any financial assistance- we can both attest to the fact that electronic mobility devices make life quality increase a hundred fold. Far worth it, if you can manage it.
My dear Grandpa and me in my first power chair. (1980s)
If You Don't Use It...
If you do get a power mobility device and are physically able...make sure, if you can use your arm muscles, to exercise as much as you can. You see that old saying, if you don't use it, you will lose it, still applies. Craig has relief using the wheels, but because he has "regular" muscles, he still has to make sure he doesn't become totally dependant on the power assist wheels, so he won't atrophy his muscles. Healthy muscles have a memory and the longer you do not use muscles, the more they weaken.
In my case, since I have spinal muscular atrophy, my muscles unavoidably weaken, so help like this, makes movement on my own possible. Moving what you can, in any case, definitely has benefits.
My most recent power tilt wheelchair - year 2006 or so.

We'd love to Hear from You.
If you are wondering about mobility devices, use them, or are thinking about getting one, we would love to hear from you! Please comment below.

Pushing Ahead: An Easier Way
Guide To Wheelchair Selection