The First Time I Used My iLevel® Wheelchair
By Zoe Hernandez
Monday, May 13, 2019
I’ve had an iLevel® Power Wheelchair for a few years now, and it’s had a tremendous impact on me. Yet, nothing compares to the first time I used iLevel and the experiences I had while using it in school and throughout my everyday life.
I first got my iLevel® Power Wheelchair in December of 2015, when I was a junior in high school. I remember bringing it to school for the first time and I got a lot of compliments. My teachers and classmates thought my motorized wheelchair with iLevel was so cool. One of my classmates was being funny and said that it looked like race car!
My power wheelchair has given me a lot of independence ever since I started using it. With the iLevel elevation on my motorized wheelchair, I drive side by side, at eye level with my friends and teachers. I was unable to do that with the wheelchairs I used in the past. Also, I was able to talk to my peers and teachers eye to eye, without them looking down at me to talk to me.
Wherever I would go with my family, people would come up to me and ask what type of wheelchair I have. One time, I was at the 2016 Sea Music Festival at the Mystic Seaport Museum in Mystic, Connecticut, with my mother and my after-school singing group. I was with my mother, on my way to our next performance when we were stopped by two female physical therapists. They were amazed at how well I was driving the motorized wheelchair along the bumpy surface without it tipping over. They asked me about my motorized wheelchair and how would it benefit other people with disabilities. I answered their questions and they wrote down my answers! I have never experienced anything like that before using iLevel.
Another significant moment in my life also happened in 2016, when I was features in an ad in a mobility magazine. Throughout my life, I have never thought about being in an advertisement! It was a neat experience. The ad showed me in my iLevel Power Chair and focused on how I use it to live my life more independently. I was completely surprised yet honored that a huge wheelchair company like Quantum wanted me to represent their products.
With all these experiences, and probably many more to come, iLevel has completely changed my life. If it wasn’t for my iLevel Power Chair, I wouldn’t have had those great experiences. And I certainly wouldn’t have my independence!
About Zoe: Zoemarie Hernandez lives in Meriden, Connecticut. A Quantum® consumer advocate, Zoe attends Abilities Expos and speaks with people about her disability. She is currently enrolled in college and hopes to work in a community one day with people who are just like her. Click here to learn more about Zoe.