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Kelowna  

New mobility for Cheryl

Kelowna resident Cheryl Austrom is the first person in the Okanagan to receive a hands-free BiKube walker.

After discovering what she thought was a pinched nerve in her back was actually primary progressive multiple sclerosis, Austrom tried specialty mats, walkers and poles – but it was still difficult for her to perform familiar tasks, such as cooking. 

"If I stand with my legs together, it's like being on a boat," said Austrom, who can only stand for 20 minutes at a time.

"I make cheese, I have my own sourdough starter, I'm huge into cooking, and all of a sudden I couldn't do that anymore ... it was so frustrating."

Austrom's close friend Amanda Richmond helped design and test the hands-free prototype, which was delivered to Austrom this month. 

"She tested our prototype in early June, when I was visiting from Vancouver, and loved it," said Richmond. "It was perfect for what she needed and allowed her to move around her home with ease – and even better, be able to stand longer to cook."

With a saddle seat similar to a bicycle's and the ability to sit while standing, the Bikube is unlike any other walker, she says. 



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