Marcel Michitsch's hobby is loud and dirty: He is an enduro rider and spends every free minute off-road on his motorbike. Man and machine fight their way through routes of up to 80 kilometres in length – it's less about speed and more about endurance. Why he was used to challenges even before his hobby and how he otherwise rolls, he tells us on REHACARE.com.
Name: Marcel Michitsch Age: 34 City: Westerbeck, Germany Occupation: Engineer Impairment: Lower leg amputation right
Marcel Michitsch: Starting the engine together with my family and friends on the enduro track and talking in the evening around the campfire.
Which auxiliary means or daily living aids are indispensable for you?
Marcel Michitsch: I can hardly do without my prosthesis. Otherwise I'll have to hop around the house and probably jump onto one of my children's Lego bricks. What would you like to see from society and your fellow people in dealing with people with disabilities?
Marcel Michitsch: So far, I have mostly only had good experiences in my environment. Of course, it also happened that there were no ramps on buildings when I was dependent on a wheelchair myself. These and other measures should simply be a matter of course. However, I think that better interaction with people with disabilities is not a one-way street. Everyone should be willing to compromise and remain so.
Which assistive device would urgently need to be invented and/or improved?
Marcel Michitsch: In my opinion, assistive technology is already at a high level today. It would be better to work on having these high-quality aids recognised as a health insurance benefit. Only then can they be used by those affected.
What has been your biggest challenge so far that you have mastered – and what has helped you to do so?
Marcel Michitsch: At first glance, you would think that a serious accident and subsequent amputation would be the biggest challenges of my life so far. That is only partly true. Because in my accident I lost exactly the leg that had already been severely impaired from birth due to a deformity. So the accident was almost like a stroke of luck for me. If it had hit the other leg, I would now be dependent on a wheelchair.
And thanks to my prosthesis, I am more mobile today than I ever was. So I've been used to challenges since I was a child. And honestly, wouldn't life be boring without hurdles? At least that's how it is in enduro racing: Obstacles are part of it and can even be fun.
What can the assistive technology industry learn from the Corona pandemic to make life easier and/or better for people with disabilities in the future?
Marcel Michitsch: There is nothing that does not exist. One year ago, we certainly could not have imagined how a pandemic would keep our country on tenterhooks. This makes it all the more important to react quickly and flexibly to new needs and suddenly changing circumstances.
If nothing would be impossible: Who would you like to meet one day and why?
Marcel Michitsch: Next to my great-grandfather, I would love to meet James Hunt, a former Formula 1 racing driver. Both are certainly as different as life itself. I would learn more about myself from the first one – and from the other one, how to become a world champion.
What was your best REHACARE experience?
Marcel Michitsch: Unfortunately, I have not yet had the opportunity to attend REHACARE. However, I have firmly resolved to do so.
What I finally want to say...
Marcel Michitsch: Hey, I only lost a leg, not my life.