Six Reasons Why I Love My Power Wheelchair

My name is Maddie Kasten. I’m a 15-year-old, high school sophomore and I’ve been using a manual wheelchair since kindergarten. I just got my first power wheelchair and I am so excited! Here are six reasons why I love my Stretto Power Wheelchair.

My Wheelchair Gives Me Independence 

I use a wheelchair almost everywhere I go, but my arms and shoulders fatigue after a bit from wheeling myself. So, I’ve always had family or friends push me in case I get tired. While I appreciate their help, now that I am in high school, I want to be able to do more things on my own. Plus, having other people push me can be nerve wracking. Like when my family would take walks with our dog, Molly, and my parents ended up pushing my wheelchair, they would get a little too close to the edge of a sidewalk. I worried that I was going to tip over! I much prefer to be in control of my own wheelchair and finally, I am.

My Wheelchair Helps Me Stay Hydrated

I live in Arizona, and this summer it hit 117 degrees Fahrenheit! It’s usually dry and often hot here, so I always need water. When using my manual wheelchair, I would hang a backpack behind me. Anything that couldn’t go in it had to be stored between my knees or between my back and the seat back. Let me tell you: wet pants from a sweaty water bottle? It’s not the look I am going for when hanging out with my friends (not to mention how cold my legs get). So yes, a cup holder is key!

My Power Wheelchair Makes Me Taller

I’m 4’11” and a half. Okay, a quarter. When you’re already the shortest person in the group, being seated when everyone else is standing makes you feel even smaller. People bend way down to talk to me, like I am a little child. If they don’t, I get neck pain from having to look up so much, especially to see my dad and big brother who are 6’3”. With the iLevel feature on my Stretto, I can interact with people face to face. It’s amazing. Plus, people say there’s a lot of other stuff you can see when elevated at iLevel.

My Wheelchair is an Adventure 

I’m not going to lie. When I first tried it out, the Stretto Power Wheelchair brought back a memory of when I got a battery-operated toy car for Christmas. I drove it all around the backyard and it felt awesome. You can’t tell me that the power wheelchair doesn’t remind you a bit of a car with its LED lights and power adjustable seat? Yet, instead of a wheel you get a joystick, like you’re playing a video game! 

Using the USB Charger on My Wheelchair

I don’t know who thought to add a USB charger to this beautiful power chair, so thank you. Do you know how annoying it is to carry a small portable charger around? How easy it is to lose it or just forget to charge it? (It’s very easy.) In fact, the last time I used my portable charger, I accidentally dropped it out of our car window during a Christmas light display tour. It got run over by another car. Seriously, having my motorized wheelchair is like killing two birds with one stone. All I need to do is remember to charge my power chair overnight and I won’t ever have to worry about my phone dying, which is a total disaster when you’re in high school.

My Stretto Motorized Wheelchair Gives Me Freedom

A laptop, binder and other random school materials is a lot to stuff into a backpack. Not to mention it’s heavy to hang on the back of a wheelchair. I have had so much trouble with this at school. Sometimes I wind with all my school stuff and more (see water bottle, # 2, above) in my lap. Having backpack hooks on my Stretto Power Chair, along with a big Quantum backpack, is a huge weight off my shoulders. Literally!

If anyone reading this is considering switching from a manual wheelchair to a power wheelchair, I hope my excitement about my new chair helps with your decision!

About Maddie Kasten: Maddie is a Q Roll Model for Quantum Rehab. She lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and enjoys participating in adaptive sports, playing video games and watching anime. Click here to learn more about Maddie.

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