Getting away from everyday life, exploring the world, going to concerts and bars with friends – Natalie Pinnisch enjoys her self-determined life to the fullest and doesn't let her neuromuscular disease stop her. On REHACARE.com the 35-year-old from Hamburg reveals what she considers a great day and how she rolls otherwise.
Natalie Pinnisch: Every day is a gift, and it is up to you to make it a good day. Sometimes it is the smell of coffee in the morning that makes me smile or the rays of the sun on my skin and so on.
Which auxiliary means or daily living aids are indispensable for you?
Natalie Pinnisch: Clearly, my electric wheelchair and my ventilation. Both aids and my girls give me the opportunity to live a colorful life. I get to travel and go to concerts and bars with my friends – my freedom.
What would you like to see from society and your fellow people in dealing with people with disabilities?
Natalie Pinnisch:I must say that I have hardly had any bad experiences so far. Most people reflect what you radiate yourself. But if I could change something, I would start in kindergarten. That is where the foundation lies – the formation of awareness and empathy towards others. Because every person – with or without disabilities – is beautiful, smart, strong, ... in their own way.
Which assistive device would urgently need to be invented and/or improved?
Natalie Pinnisch:Portable wheelchair ramps – ones that you can pull out and are not too heavy. Steps are usually always the biggest problem. Second, longer battery life for my ventilation would be amazing.
What has been your biggest challenge so far that you have mastered – and what has helped you?
Natalie Pinnisch: Leaving my comfort zone. The transition from leaving my parents’ home to a self-determined life within my own four walls. It was very hard for me to move out of my parents' house and having to fully rely on the help of strangers. For a while I was supported by a nursing service. However, for three years now, I have been running my own team and I am immensely grateful for the opportunities it has given me. My family, my best friend Pia, my partner, and some of my friends have always supported me and sometimes kicked me in the a... when things weren’t progressing. Without them, I wouldn't be where I am today.
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?
Natalie Pinnisch:Very often there were shortages of consumables, such as breathing hoses and filters. Perhaps reusable products would be a future-oriented solution.
If nothing would be impossible: Who would you like to meet one day and why?
Natalie Pinnisch: My grandpa – sadly, he passed on during the Corona Pandemic and I didn't get to say goodbye to him. I would have loved to tell him so many things – how important he was for me and how much I learned from him and grandma ... about life, love, courage and trust.
What else I wanted to say ...
Natalie Pinnisch: Life is too short to stand still. Be brave, take risks and pursue your goals! "Your power is in your thoughts, so stay awake. In other words, remember to remember." – Rhonda Byrne (The Secret)