Not just stand, but dance – that's what Sebastian Stabler would like to do. He is still waiting for the right assistive equipment. But the paraplegic 37-year-old already shows himself to be a sporty and active person. Why he would like to meet a certain bodybuilder and how he rolls otherwise, he tells us on REHACARE.com.
Name: Sebastian Stabler Age: 37 City: Hilzingen, Germany Occupation: Painter and varnisher Disability: Th12 cross section
Sebastian Stabler: When I have no pain and can therefore go to sports. Then I feel balanced and happy. Unfortunately, after a paraplegia, you often have pain that becomes chronic and this can be very grueling and limiting in the long run.
Which auxiliary means or daily living aids are indispensable for you?
Sebastian Stabler: My wheelchair, of course, as a means of transportation. A traction device that gives me freedom when you don't have a car. Ramps are unfortunately still far too rare and prevent you from being able to participate everywhere in everyday life. A catheter is important for daily emptying of the bladder. In addition, my caregivers. In case of severe pain, it is not possible without help from others.
What would you like to see from society and your fellow people in dealing with people with disabilities?
Sebastian Stabler: Often people who sit in a wheelchair are also considered mentally disabled. Therefore, I would like to see a better interaction at eye level, or being seen and treated as a normal fellow human being and not as a "total loss".
Which assistive device would urgently need to be invented and/or improved?
Sebastian Stabler: Devices that train the endurance better, or are not so one-sided/unhandy for home use. And a tool which does not only help you to stand/walk, but also to dance.
Meeting people who have similar experiences and limitations as oneself was a very enriching experience for Sebastian Stabler.
What has been your biggest challenge so far that you have mastered – and what has helped you?
Sebastian Stabler: Accepting life in a wheelchair and becoming aware that my old life no longer exists in its former form and that everything has changed from one day to the next. My partner helped me with this and the will to redesign my life and become happy.
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? Sebastian Stabler: Care could be taken to avoid shortages in terms of supplies procurement or to plan differently if supplies are used up more quickly.
If nothing was impossible: Who would you like to meet one day and why?
Sebastian Stabler: My role model is Gabriele Andriulli – IFBB Pro WH champion for bodybuilding in a wheelchair. It would be an honor and an incentive for me to learn from someone who has made it this far – also with a disability.
What was your best REHACARE experience?
Sebastian Stabler: This was clearly the fact that I was allowed to meet people at REHACARE who share the same fate as I do and on the basis of this are usually extremely valuable encounters for me. It turned out for me that people in wheelchairs (and with impairments) are often a great enrichment and I am grateful to have been able to meet all these people.