Monthly Archives: June 2013

SPINALpedia Adapted Lawn Mowing

mow

Mowing the grass is definitely one of those love it or hate it things. For those who find it unendingly satisfying and refuse to walk away from it just because they can’t do it how “they used to” anymore, those are the people who invent some pretty spectacular stuff.

It’s summer, the grass is growing like crazy and you’re still paralyzed. What better way to show a handful of awesome wheelchair grass mowing videos from SPINALpedia? Check out four unforgettable ones below.

Our first mowing-vid is direct from a really cool ex-Marine from Indiana. He is a T6 para and the king of transferring into any contraption, including a riding lawn mower; his preferred way of still getting the job done. What he does is prop up his manual chair to transfer himself up and into the mower – a crazy hard transfer. Check out his mower transfer

Our second video is my personal favorite – wheelchair expert Mark E. Smith’s method of mowing his massive back yard, and it he does it at high speed while staying in his suped-up powerchair. What he does is tie a power push mower behind him as drives up and down his lawn. He does it fast, and he does it in perfect alignment. He is like the artiste of lawn mower lines. This video is so worth the 50 seconds. Check it out

Even vent-dependent quads can get in on the action. College students at Grand Valley State University created a remote-controlled lawn mower that can be controlled by a sip ‘n puff mechanism. They created it for Jim, a quad from Grand Rapids, MI. When you can’t mow the lawn yourself, this is one super cool alternative. I could even see some lazy rich guys getting in on this too. Watch an overview of the design

And our last video is for the buffest of the buff; for those who want to man-handle a push mower. The results – it can be done. A paraplegic demonstrates from beginning to end how he mows his back lawn with a regular push power motor, pushing it in front of him as if he were walking, and no surprise, this takes some *major* strength. Wondering how he pushes himself while pushing a power mower? Watch and find out

The grass is ‘a growing, and you better get a mowin’. Now you have no excuse. Just watch out for the rocks and sticks as you’re mowing, people. Scariest. Thing. Ever.

Do you still mow your lawn?

Watch the videos on SPINALpedia!

Para shows how to transfer onto his lawn mower

Wheelchair expert Mark E. Smith mowing his lawn by pulling w/ a power mower behind him

Sip ‘n puff mower

Buff para mowing his lawn use a regular old push mower

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SCI Superstar: Tasha Schuh

tasha schuh

Author, singer, inspirational speaker, proud owner of a van she calls “Go Go Gadget,” oh and did I mention she’s Ms. Wheelchair USA 2012? Tasha Schuh, from Ellsworth, Wisconsin, is one of the most glowing, driven women you’ll ever meet.

But she wasn’t always this way. After breaking her neck backstage during a theater production in high school (she was a singer herself), she stepped into an open trap door she didn’t know was behind her, and her life was changed forever. She fell 16 feet, hitting the cement floor and breaking her C5 vertebrae on impact.

But after a year of depression, she started to see a good life with paralysis was still possible, and began to look forward to heal – a common saying that was soon to become her mantra.

Why she’s fearless

After 6 months in rehab, worried what life held in store for her, worried if she would ever get married, she began to push forward; not dwelling on what she had lost, but instead on what she still had. Education was what she was focused on too. She graduated high school with her class, then went to Winona State University and graduated with a degree in Communication Studies and Music (making sure not to stray away from her first love).

Then she decided to go back to school one more time to attend Maranatha College, where she received a degree in Theology. Christianity played a big part in Tasha’s mental recovery post-injury, and is a focal point of her present-day life, especially in her speaking career, which is what she’s best known for.

Tasha speaks at schools, businesses, organizations and churches to spread her message, and it’s a good one too. The message – there is always room to hope. And she wrote a book to carry her message even further, “My Last Step Backwards,” which is available on Amazon.

And last July, Tasha won the crown of Ms. Wheelchair USA, a platform she’s been using ten-fold to spread her message. Check out her travels as Ms. Wheelchair USA

What’s next?

And Tasha has an even bigger “speaking engagement” so to speak this August – she’s marrying her sweetheart Doug Michaels, a weatherman from WQOW/Eau Claire, WI. “I can have children; we can have a family!” she told onlookers when she got engaged. How cute is that? Tasha from early on always wanted her own family.

And after they get married in August, they have an even bigger goal – to begin a speaking tour together. Tasha and Doug, who met on an online dating site, were drawn to one another because of their faith, and so romantic – they were engaged 6 months after meeting. They plan to speak about God, and the challenges they face as a couple.

Tasha without question still has her bad days, but what makes her so amazing is how she bounces back with a smile and an aura of positivity that really just needs to be bottled and sold. You got to love anyone with that kind of smile anyways. I mean, just look at her – she’s adorable.  You go girl.

Have you read her book? How has Tasha Schuh inspired you?

Visit her site: TashaSchuh.com

Watch the videos!

Tasha Schuh shares her story on the Mayo Clinic video channel

Watch Tasha Schuh speak at a high school

Hear Tasha Schuh sing “Bless the Broken Road” by Rascal Flats

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