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What powerchair does a disabled base-jumper use?
For daredevil Marlena, it’s all about independence.
She wanted a tough and robust chair as she took on the beaches in her hometown in Queensland, Australia – but most importantly a chair that would support her and help her tackle the biggest challenge of her life.
Marlena is on track to being the first person with cerebral palsy to secure base-jumping recognition.
Of course, she chose the Magic Mobility Extreme X8.
Base-jumping is terrifying and dangerous. It’s the sport of jumping from impossible heights from buildings, cliffs and towers using a parachute on your descent. BASE numbers are awarded to those who have made at least one jump from each of the four categories – Buildings, Antennas, Spans and Earth. It’s Marlena’s dream to be the first person living with CP to score a BASE number.
“I already was the first person with CP to base-jump but to get the BASE number, I need to jump off various objects,” explained Marlena.
Marlena’s X8 is a vital part of her equipment because without it there is no way she could do her sport.
“I would have to hire a harem of strong men!” she laughed. “While that idea is appealing, this chair makes the goal more attainable.”
Marlena is the friend you wish you could have – she’s a music journalist (“my Extreme X8 is going to be GREAT at festivals,” she said), a skydiver and owner of a bouncy castles business.
Marlena might have the courage to tackle jumping off tall buildings but advocating for her own assistive technology was a challenge in itself. She turned to the support of an experienced Occupational Therapist.
“It wasn’t an easy thing to justify,” said Marlena who enjoys going on independent walks on her own. “The therapist that came on board was amazing and clearly articulated my needs for a second chair to be an outside chair.”
After obtaining the Extreme X8 Marlene, and facing the impacts of pandemic lockdowns, she is now concentrating on making the most of getting out on the beach near her home.
“The Extreme X8 has literally opened up my backyard”
“I am on the beach every day now,” she said. “I am about to move to a new home only 100 metres from the beach. This chair is vital for me to make the most of the full benefits of beachside living.”
“Living on the Gold Coast in Australia has never been better.”