Enjoy events while living with MS

Since his retirement, art lover Albert Flesseman enjoys traveling with his wife, visiting museums and classical music festivals. To do that, he needs both a rollator and a wheelchair.

Since his retirement two years ago, Albert Flesseman is keen to continue getting out and about with his wife. Due to his MS (Multiple Sclerosis), the 2-in-1 rollator and wheelchair have become the best solution for Flesseman. “I can continue to move with the Rollz Motion. For me it is a three-stage rocket: walking, sitting and being pushed. If I walk with the rollator by myself, I determine where I go or what I am looking at. When I am tired, I can look around, seated. If we want to continue on, my wife can push me in the wheelchair. That way I am never stuck.”

He finds the flexibility of this walking aid ideal. “If you want to move, you can, for as long as you can. Walking, however, has its limits for me as an MS patient, then I can sit down and be pushed; it’s an ideal walking aid if you want to keep moving and combine it with moments of rest,” says Flesseman. “We try to travel as much as possible, so we go on classical music tours and now we don’t have to go out with two aids at the same time. The Rollz Motion offers a triple: walking, sitting and being pushed around. In a ‘nutshell’, this is why I love the product.”

Flesseman and his wife often meet people who are unfamiliar with the Rollz Motion concept. He believes his combined wheelchair and rollator should be more widely utilised – and that’s why he shares his experiences. “Then more people can use it!”

“Thanks to the Rollz Motion, I continue to participate and move, just as my wife. Thanks to Rollz, she no longer needs to go to the gym…”

A solution for MS patients

Ten years ago, Albert Flesseman was diagnosed with primarily progressive MS. “First I walked using a cane, then with crutches, then with a rollator and now I regularly use a wheelchair – the usual course of MS is a steady deterioration,” he explains. “I now interchange the rollator and the wheelchair. The Rollz Motion comes in handy when I go into town, to a museum or when I am traveling with my wife. Then it is used intensively. The combination provides a good outcome for me.”

Staying fit is important to him and he attends medical work-outs every week. “This sounds tougher than it is. But I want to keep walking, even if it is a hundred meters right now and twenty meters next time.”

“I have to try to move as much as possible, but I can only do it for so long.”

Roaming the sculpture garden

Recently the couple visited the Kröller-Müller Museum, exploring the beautiful sculpture garden. “I walked around outside, using the Rollz Motion as a rollator”, says Flesseman. “I rested in the wheelchair for a moment when I wanted to view the sculptures at ease. Then following the quite exhausting stroll in the sculpture garden, my wife pushed me in the wheelchair inside the museum. Without this rollator-wheelchair combination, we wouldn’t have been able to go there.”

Visitors admiring the Kröller-Möller garden

This artwork by George Rickey in the sculpture garden moves very slowly on the wind – he can sit there watching for a long time (Photo: Wienke Hofland)

Stable surface grip

Lifting is difficult for him. “That’s why I also have a lighter carbon rollator, but it’s not very stable – I topple over with the light carbon rollator, especially when the corner is slightly slanted on sidewalks. My Rollz Motion has a stable road surface grip. When I am really tired, I walk much easier with it. The surface grip is also very pleasant. The Rollz Motion has a broader base and therefore better surface grip. My wife and I swear by it.”

The Mini

He arrives in a nice black Mini Cooper. It belongs to his wife, but Flesseman prefers it to his own car. “The Mini has two doors that are wider, which makes getting in and out easier. And it is automatic.” That functionality, however, is not the real reason. “It feels a bit like the circle of life has come full swing, like years ago, in the Fiat 600 next to my girlfriend…”

They have just returned from the classical music Festival d’Ambronay, in an old French monastery, just above Lyon. “I walked around during the breaks with the Rollz Motion, it is ideal. My wife pushed me around the festival grounds, and I sat in my own wheelchair while listening to the music.” They also visited the Chamber Music Festival at West Cork in Ireland and the Schubertiade at the Austrian Schwarzenberg. “Too bad we can’t go there with the Mini…” says Flesseman.

Uitvoering tijdens Festival d'Ambronay

Right to the aircraft door

The Flessemans often travel by aircraft, even though they realise that flying holidays are a luxury that is not available to everyone. The Rollz Motion always goes along. “It is an ideal combination for travelling. As a disabled person you can use the special service at the airport. You are pushed past everyone and get the time and space to embark. And my wife pushes me right to the door of the aircraft in my own Rollz wheelchair. She folds it up in the aisle, a steward puts it in the hold-zone and when we land, my wheelchair is ready for me again at the gate. Just like a car with a driver. The crew are often stunned: you certainly do have a nice device! The pilot even assisted me the last time.”

To the office by taxi

Despite his progressing illness, Flesseman worked until the age of 66 as a lease law specialist and oldest partner of the law firm Boekel de Nerée. “Usually people with MS no longer work in the phase I am in,” he says. “A taxi took me to the office every day, which was made possible by my healthcare insurance. In order to be able to rest in between, I had my own room at the office.”

He also gave lectures at the university for a long time, but stopped when he could no longer pace up and down in the lecture hall. He sometimes misses being busy with intellectual work; giving lectures (“that keeps you sharp”) and inventing legal solutions. “But now that I’m retired there’s plenty to do. We travel a lot. I love music and enjoy life with my wife, and I now have time for these things.”

Museum De Fundatie met tentoonstelling Giacometti en Chadwick
Seeing the Giacometti exposition

He is looking forward to the exhibition of Giacometti and Chadwick ‘Facing Fear’ at De Fundatie in Zwolle. These two artists created their bronze sculptures to process the disruption and fear of the Cold War. Alberto Giacometti’s thin, vulnerable people are emaciated by the hard world, but are still standing proud and powerful.

“We have also seen him in the South of France in Saint Paul de Vence, beautiful! “I can now go there with my wife, thanks to your product. I walk by myself and decide what I want to see, sit down if I want to take my time to look around and then I can be pushed further by my wife,” says Flesseman. “Do you know Giacometti’s dog sculpture? He once said that the dog is he, himself.”

Art critic Jeroen de Baaij writes about this special exhibition: “The confrontation with the human image of Giacometti and Chadwick feels fragile, but also gives strength. Whatever happens tomorrow, will happen. A visit to this exhibition will ensure that you are ready for this!”

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