We celebrated 25 years of business in July and I wanted to share a bit about our company’s interesting history. Like most businesses, Altimate Medical got its start by one person with an idea on how to build a better mousetrap. Alan Tholkes, a quadriplegic for several years, was not happy with the wheelchairs being sold at the time. He wanted a folding wheelchair that was rigid like a non-folding chair but still lightweight. He developed a clever hinge system that popped over center to stay in place and essentially made it rigid. Another neat feature was that if he needed an extra few inches to go through a door he could simply pop the hinge and make it narrower while still sitting in the chair. Like all new ideas, the chair was a hard sell. Sales struggled and the unique design was not received well. Read more
It has been a busier travel season this spring and my luck ran out on my trip to Scottsdale, Arizona. My colleague Mark and I were going to the National Seating and Mobility (NSM) annual sales meeting to show our products to all the Rehab Technology Suppliers (RTS) and educate them on the finer details about standing. I picked Mark up at his home and headed to the airport on such a nice day that it was a shame to leave Minnesota.
There is no shortage of amazing women in wheelchairs in this world. These strong women have the power to motivate us and meeting one even helped lift my depression in the initial phase of my injury. There are women I’ve known about for years, like Auti Angel and Wendy Crawford, both paralyzed who’ve went on to do some amazing things, and then there are the new women I’m constantly discovering whenever everyday online. There’s always another amazing woman out there to learn more about.
Here are two such inspirational women: One woman, an ex model and actress who’s inspired me for years and the other, a wife and violinist, who I just discovered last week. Read more
Everyone has their “first wheelchair” stories. Getting your first chair can be a hurried thing. Your insurance might not have kicked-in yet, it might have been long ago in a time when wheelchair technology was no better then Archie Bunker’s reclining chair. Whatever the reason, the chair itself is something you’ll never forget (and NEVER want back). Here are a couple of stories to share in your commiseration. Read more