tiistai 15. elokuuta 2017

Belinda's story

Dear Chasswheel, you bring me where my mind wants to go 

Hi, my name is Belinda Monteran Leinonen (32), I live in Tønsberg, the oldest town in Norway which lies one hour south of Oslo. My father is from Finland Äänekoski, and my mother is from Grenada, Carribian. So  this makes me a Norwegian with finish and Grenadian heritage. Does that sound familiar? I would guess no.


I am born with a rare syndrome called Nail Patella Syndrome ( NPS), which is an atosoma dominat disorder that affects 1 in 50 000 people, and some spontaneously. Because of this, I got a lot of ortopedic and nerve related issues. For example I didn't know that I lacked kneecaps before I was 30 year old, so it's possible to live without, I guess. I have a bachelor degree in Information Systems and Innovation.I graduated at Vestdold University Collage in 2015, and have started a small IT-business where I work as an freelance IT-instructor and support for other companies.

One day this summer I went to the hospital for an eye-check. When I arrived, an old lady was so amazed when she saw my electric wheelchair, the Chasswheel. She studied it from top to bottom, and I saw her face turn into a big questionmark. She asked in a polite and gentle way, - with this you must have a new life? Yes, I answered. And at the same time, I was thinking of the word freedom and how much the word means.

We can take a lot for granted, but not our freedom. In my years on this planet, the amount of freedom I have had, have varied greatly. And pain have been a greater part of my life than I am willing to admit. In the first four years of my life, I did not walk. But when I finally did, I ran. So I ran for for a long time, and now, not so much. Maybe I will again someday, maybe not. I really don't think too much about the future, instead choosing to focus on the present: Where I am right now, in this moment, and not focusing on time. It feels like the world stops for a moment. It feels like I can take back the time I have lost. Some days I'm just lost and pain surrounds my every movement. Its like losing my freedom to be myself.

But what is freedom?

For me the meaning of the word have changed.  For me, the word freedom is to be self- reliant and to experience less pain and accepting my situation. I think the acceptance part is the most difficult one, but I have accepted who I am and why I need help aids like the Chasswheel -  to be me. With acceptance, freedom comes naturally.

Now I really don't care if someone looks strangely at me. It's difficult to be invisible, I am so noticeable anyway. And now I understand that people really gives a shit. Finally I'm free. For this moment I am. For a while.


I feel like the word is divided into layers. Some happy layers, some dark, some moody and they change all the time. And with every start, there must be an end-station. Everything ends, and I find comfort in this. All the feelings we experience will eventually pass. If we are sad, it will pass, if we are hurt it will pass. I know that when Im seeing blue, it magically turns pink in the end.

I was spending 9 days in Sweden for my holiday this summer, without the Chasswheel. My head was traveling everywhere, but I was stuck. Like seeing a thing but you cant touch it. When pain is surrounding my every movement. When I am dependent on another human. I feel so tiny and vulnerable and get so tired, of just being me. Like a soldier without a horse. What  I am really describing is my past life-When I thought nothing was possible. Now everything is. Chasswheel is now a part of my everyday life in almost every aspect. Thank you Chasswheel for making it possible to travel where ever my mind wants to go.

 Belinda Monteran

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Belinda's story

Dear Chasswheel, you bring me where my mind wants to go  Hi, my name is Belinda Monteran Leinonen (32), ...