The VARILITE User Community is made up of enthusiastic wheelchair users venturing to push the boundaries of their abilities. Check out who loves VARILITE by product:
I was 20 years old when I sustained a Spinal cord injury at the level of C5/6, and have been a VARILITE cushion user ever since. I originally found out about VARILITE through my initial rehab hospital process of trying various options from different manufacturers. Early on I started out using a different VARILITEcushion, but I have now switched to my current model the VARILITE Evolution™ cushion.
Since my main interests have always revolved around motor sports, such as building muscle cars, and ATVs, I have always enjoyed designing, drafting, and prototyping various projects. These interests led me to design and custom build my own wheelchair and it eventually turned into a career with me starting my own business, Round Betty wheels.
Because I have been working as a manufacturer of wheels for wheelchairs, I have become extremely experienced in this field and I know exactly what I need and want for my seating and positioning needs. Over the years I have been to local vendors and purchased my own cushions. Since using VARILITE products I noticed that I sit with great balance, posture, and positioning. It is a very comfortable product to use and I have never had any issues with skin break down. I have been using the VARILITE Evolution cushion now for years.
I would absolutely recommend VARILITE products to other wheelchair users because personally, I have had a very positive experience with VARILITE products for 18 years.
~Erick Bryant has been a VARILITE product user for 18 years, and is owner of Round Betty Wheels www.roundbetty.com
I am 25 years old, and sustained a spinal cord injury 5 years ago from a motocross crash. After I went through physical therapy to learn how to live as a quadriplegic, I got right out there and started living my new life. I discovered quadriplegic rugby after watching a documentary called Murderball and have been playing with the Seattle Slam for 4 years. I love the wheelchairs we get to play in because they are like battering rams.
When someone first came to visit me in the hospital that is when I really started to learn about different types of equipment. Since I want to be as independent as I can, I need good, lightweight equipment that can take a beating. Through trial and error, I have changed wheelchairs and cushions, and now use a titanium wheelchair and a lightweight VARILITE Evolution PSV™ cushion. It is really important for me to have durable and light weight equipment because I don’t have full hand strength. Since I have been using the Evolution PSV cushion, I can tell how much my balance has improved. In fact now I own two Evolution PSV cushions, one for my everyday wheelchair and one for my rugby wheelchair. One other thing I have noticed is that when I use a transfer board to get in and out of my truck, my transfers improved and got easier because of the firmer surface of the cushion.
After 5 years of being in a wheelchair, I now try to help and educate newly injured quadriplegics, especially the guys that are interested in quad rugby. I educate them about equipment and love to show off my rugby wheelchair. I tell other people that with products like the VARILITE Evolution PSV cushion, it can improve the independence of quadriplegics because it improved my transfers, stability, and helps avoid skin issues. The cushion doesn’t make me all wobbly, like the air-celled cushion I used to have. If a valve breaks or the cushion goes flat, it is so easy to fix it at home. That saves me from having to send the cushion back for repairs.
~Jeremy Hannaford is 5 years post injury from a motocross accident and a player for a rugby team called the Seattle Slam.
I am currently 28 years old, and have been both injured and married for the past year 7 years. Due to a car accident, which left me with a T7-8 spinal cord injury, I am now a T-7 paraplegic. I currently work for an entertainment company acquiring film and television rights for distribution to TV and DVD. I play for the Rollin’ Twins Wheelchair Softball team and the Rollin’ Timberwolves Basketball team. To stay in shape I go to the gym when I find the time, but in my downtime I love to read, play the guitar and video games. As you can tell, I am very active so I consider my motto to be “The busier you are, the more you seem to get done!”
A few years ago I heard about VARILITE through my cousin, who works for a company that works with VARILITE. I ended up getting a Talon™ backrest and an Evolution PSV™ cushion. I tend to sit at an angle based on my injury, which produces an angled line of feeling around my mid-section. This makes it difficult for a gel cushion to appropriately maintain an even support of my posterior, so I really needed something that would work for me. The Evolution PSV cushion has truly made a positive impact on my personal health and quality of life. I am very impressed with the quality and endurance of the VARILITE products, since I can be extremely hard on my wheelchair and equipment by playing sports and being very active. Also, the fact that it is self-inflating is great!
~Jeff Hayne is a husband, wheelchair model and player for the Rollin’ Twins Wheelchair Softball team.
I have been using a wheelchair since 1992, when I was shot during the war in Kosovo in the early 1990’s. I have an incomplete spinal cord injury, and for the last 8 years I have been working full-time as a Customer Service Representative for a collections agency in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. I have to work full-time because I am a single mom, and although I used to do some wheelchair sports such as skiing, and handcycling, I don’t have time for it now. All I can say is that I love being a mom, and my 4 year old son Srdjan is wonderful!
In 1994, I was lucky to be sponsored by an organization called Veterans for Peace, and I came to the United States with my mom for rehabilitation. After a few months of going through rehabilitation, and learning English, the organization found a host family for me to stay with. Unfortunately, my mom had to go back to Kosovo a few months later, and at the age of 14 years old I was alone in the United States. I was living with a wonderful host family and attending high school. I graduated from high school, and my host family became my family, in fact, I just recently moved back in with them, and they just adore my son Srdjan..
Over the years I relied on friends in wheelchairs and my physical therapist to help me about wheelchairs and cushions. I was happy when I heard about VARILITE, and was able to try out a new type of cushion. For years, I used a gel cushion, and it was always so heavy to lift. I now have the VARILITE Meridian™ cushion, and I love it because it is so lightweight. Also, when I am at work and sitting for long periods of time, I can adjust the air in the cushion. Recently, I have also noticed I am having less pain in my legs.
Because my son loves to ride on my lap and he is getting bigger, I get tired more easily. Having a light weight cushion now is so helpful, especially when I am transferring in and out of my car. The lighter my wheelchair and cushion is, the better it will be for my shoulders in the long run.
~Danijela Beckwith has been a wheelchair user since 1992 and is a happy mom of her 4 year old son, Srdjan.
My Meridian™ cushion is the best seat in the house.
On August 27th of 2007, after years of back and leg pains and 13 previous back surgeries, I had the 2nd stage of a 5th level lumbar fusion. During the procedure my spinal cord was pinched and not discovered for 4 days. A reversal procedure was performed, and as a result I ended up paralyzed from the waist down due to what is called Cauda Equina.
I did about 4 weeks of in-patient rehabilitation and during that time my therapist had me try a few different styles of chairs and cushions. My therapist did a great job picking the wheelchair and cushion for me. Since I was newly injured I didn’t have a clue about knowing what to get in the world of wheelchairs and cushions. I was sent home with a “loaner chair" that was in pretty rough shape. The cushion I went home with is referred to as a gel style cushion, which is supposed to be "fluffed" each time I got back into the wheelchair. The gel seat cushion I had caused some real painful problems for me in my legs. It was very painful when I transferred, so I stayed in my wheelchair for long periods of time to avoid transferring. The pain continued until I got THE call, my new wheelchair was ready! When I finally got my new wheelchair it was heaven.
My new wheelchair came equipped with a VARILITE Meridian™ cushion, which my physical therapist had ordered for me after pressure mapping me while I was an in-patient. Immediately, the fluid retention in my legs and feet improved. The ease of adjusting the pressure is so easy compared to the gel! I am super busy all day with long hours sitting in my wheelchair, and since I tend to forget to do pressure releases I have my VARILITE Meridian cushion to thank for not having skin issues because of my forgetfulness.
As a testimonial to the comfort of the cushion, my daughter sits in my wheelchair while I am at physical therapy. When I want to get my wheelchair back, she says it is too comfortable. Also at family gatherings, my children and grandchildren fight over the wheelchair because it's the most comfortable seat in the house!
~Guy Clark is 1 year post injury and a happy VARILITE user.