April 30, 2012

National Mobility Awareness Month - Vote for the Daverts!

May 1st marks the start of National Mobility Awareness Month, and the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA) is doing its part to help people with limited mobility. 

Melissa, twins Austin and Michaela, and Ken Davert
The NMEDA is sponsoring a contest in which "local heroes" can share their stories and enter to win a custom wheelchair accessible vehicle. The story with the greatest number of votes by May 13 will receive the prize.

The Daverts, a family who lives near Amigo headquarters in Michigan, submitted their story in the hopes of winning the accessible van to replace their aging vehicle. Melissa Davert and her 13 year old twins Austin and Michaela have Osteogenesis Imperfecta, and her husband Ken has Cerebral Palsy. 

Melissa has been a long time advocate for people with disabilities. She has served on numerous boards and councils defending the rights of those with disabilities, and contributes to two national disability publications. If you would like to read the Davert's story or vote for them to win, click here

The contest has already started, but it's not too late to enter! If you have a need for an accessible vehicle and an inspiring story to share, click here.

April 27, 2012

Amigo Travel - RVs

Do you use an Amigo or other mobility device while traveling in an RV? We'd love to hear your adventure stories, travel tips and favorite accessible travel destinations! Leave us a note in the comment box below, and you may see your tips featured in a future Friendly Wheels blog post or article!

April 23, 2012

Big City Travel with Shelley Peterman Schwarz

Shelley Peterman Schwarz recently traveled to New York City to receive the Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Award - Books for a Better Life. She took her Amigo with her, and was able to navigate the city with ease.

Shelley had this to say about traveling with her Amigo:

"It was amazing and my wonderful little Amigo Travelmate took me everywhere in style  without a single problem. As I rolled around New York City, and believe me I did roll… miles and miles and miles, in my Amigo, I received lots of attention. The size, simplicity, and "zip" was what impressed people the most."

Watch the video clip below to see Shelley ride the bus with her Amigo. Congratulations on your award Shelley, you deserve it!

April 20, 2012

Mid-Michigan Kids Get First Hand Experience About Multiple Sclerosis

Students at a local elementary school in Frankenmuth, Mich. experienced first hand how MS can change lives. Amigo mobility consultant Jake Priest even brought Amigos for the kids to ride so they could experience what life is like with limited mobility. Watch the video below to see the students become enlightened to what life with MS is like -- what a great lesson to teach kids at such a young age! 

Read the full article here.

April 11, 2012

Amigo President Runs Boston Marathon

Amigo president Tim Drumhiller will be spending his weekend in Boston preparing to run the 116th Boston Marathon on Monday, April 16th! Tim is an avid runner, and the Boston Marathon will mark the 20th marathon he has participated in. 

The 26.2 mile race is the world's oldest annual marathon and ranks as one of the world's most prestigious road racing events. More than 25,000 people are expected to participate in this year's race. 

The Boston Athletic Association is proud to also extend the challenge of the marathon to people with disabilities. Since the first wheelchair racer completed the marathon in 1975, the Boston Marathon has added a push rim wheelchair division, a division for the visually impaired and a mobility impaired program. 

Over the years, more than 1,000 people with varying disabilities have competed in the wheelchair division of the Boston Marathon. One particularly inspiring story is that of Rick and Dick Hoyt, a father and son team known as Team Hoyt, who have completed the marathon together many times. 
Dick Hoyt pushing son Rick
in their first Boston Marathon (1981)

Rick was born with cerebral palsy, and he and his father Dick have completed more than 1,000 races, including 66 marathons and 229 triathlons, with Dick pushing Rick in a custom made running chair. 

The 2009 Boston Marathon was officially Team Hoyt's 1,000th race, and Rick has said that the Boston Marathon is always his favorite. Team Hoyt will participate in their 30th Boston Marathon this year at ages 71 and 50.

Team Amigo will be thinking of Tim, Dick and Rick on Monday -- we wish you all a fun and safe run!

April 6, 2012

No Excuses - Kyle Maynard

View the video below to meet Kyle Maynard, who is featured in this month's Friendly Wheels e-newsletter. Born with a condition called congenital amputation, Kyle was born with arms that end at the elbows and legs ending near his knees. Kyle has never used his disability as an excuse and has become a successful motivational speaker, author, entrepreneur and athlete.

Below is an excerpt from a short interview we had with Kyle, and you can read our full Friendly Wheels article at www.myamigo.com!

What is the most rewarding part of working at the No Excuses CrossFit Gym?

The most rewarding thing to me is seeing people continually do things they never thought they could before -- whether it's a pull-up or a new personal record, sometimes their faces give away their astonishment.

What was going through your head your first year of wrestling when you lost every match? Were you mainly feeling defeated or were you focused on doing better?

The only thing going through my head was how horrible I was doing! I didn't take time to think about what I was learning or how I was growing. It was just tough. We all have those moments, but sometimes we lose sight on how going through tough times can make us better.

What did your parents do or tell you to instill such a strong work ethic and drive to succeed at such a young age?

I think a big part of what they did was let me work through things on my own. Instead of helping me with everything (even though they did help with a lot), they still let me struggle and eventually figure it out for myself.

Many of our Amigo are elderly or have nerve disorders that may prevent them from being as active as they'd like. Do you have any recommendations or inspiration to help them stay as active and involved as possible? 

Be ok with starting small and don't think twice about what other people are thinking. Two big mistakes I see people make in my gym all the time are: 1) expecting too much too soon, which leads to frustration when they aren't there as quick as they expected. 2) Thinking too much about other people judging them for not knowing what to do. It's ok if you don't know what to do -- that's why we have lawyers, accountants, fire fighters, and computer techs! -- it's no different in the gym. Know your limits, but never stop trying to break them.
Thanks for talking with us Kyle! 

April 4, 2012

Meet Rick: Health and PE Teacher

Rick Deuel teaching a health class in Oregon
Rick & his students wearing orange
for MS Awareness week
16-year Amigo owner Rick Deuel has also remained committed to health through adversity, even when his mobility limitations prevent him from staying as active as he'd like. Rick continues to stay involved by teaching a Health and PE class at Portland Community College in Oregon.

Through his class, which he leads from his Amigo, Rick teaches the importance of maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle while inspiring his students to do their best. 

"I have been inspired by many people in my life, so if I can help someone, that is wonderful," Rick said.

April 3, 2012

Al Thieme Celebrates Milestone Birthday

Amigo founder Al Thieme is celebrating his 75th birthday this week! He continues to work hard at Amigo every day, which has helped him stay young at heart. Send him a birthday message to al@myamigo.com -- it would make his day to hear from you!