I’ve been in desperate need of a new wheelchair for a good couple of years now. It has done a literal ‘Round the World’ trip with me, fending off sandy deserts in Sinai, the strongest of currents in Australia and conquering cobbles in China and Brazil. Its once gleaming titanium frame has dulled with experience (and having to hold my arse up for seven years). There are surfing and carnival stickers on the sideguards and the front castor wheels were salvaged from an old supermarket trolley in Glasgow when the originals gave up hope. Like a more vital pair of shoes, though, it’s easy to get attached to something that’s been with you for longer than any boyfriend to date…
So, where else would I look for a younger, hotter model than the very fashionable Italy? The UK wheelchair market is unfortunately a bit tired at the moment, with any new, innovative company charging way out of my budget. I needed something affordable that would also turn heads. Welcome: CSEI. A company that means serious business with both service and style. ‘Screw it, why not go and see what it’s all about?’ So we did. After a lovely 90 minute flight talking to a rather yummy Canadian, Jennie and I were in Turin. First, we were invited to an event showcasing all the brightest and best mobility technology around, including 4D printing, bionic hands and these wheelchairs that I just could not peel myself away from. Sleek and shiny, with curvy carbon fibre frames and a backrest that could take any design imaginable; I knew that this was the next chair for me. Getting around Turin was proving tough in my squeaky little old faithful, making the CSEI model all the more tempting.
The following day, I was in the showroom getting measured up. Choosing alternate pink and purple spokes and a warm paisley backrest, I felt like this was finally the true fashion accessory I’d been looking for – all for less than a new chair would cost me at home! After only a 4 week wait, I will return to Turin next week to pick up my new partner in crime and, although saying goodbye to my most adventurous sidekick yet will be tough to do, I’m looking forward to making milestones and memories in a chair that’s not part shopping trolley!
Take a look at what CSEI offer by visiting: www.cseicarbon.com
Or follow them on twitter: @cseicarbon