The freedom of riding pillion on her husband’s motorbike is being made possible for Brisbane woman Christine Seary, with the support of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
Christine of Capalaba is using her NDIS funding to continue to attend events run by her social motorcycle club, including a 2000km five-day trip through New South Wales at the start of the year.
“I really love the freedom it gives me,” says Christine who has been a member of the Social Motorcycle Club since 2002 with her husband, Marty.
“Once I’m on the bike I don’t feel disabled as I have to pillion like any other pillion and I just love leaning on corners.”
Christine started using a wheelchair after having a brain tumour removed in 2004.
While the operation affected her balance, she was still able to ride pillion with her husband.
However, after her sixth stroke in 2007, Christine couldn’t ride anymore.
After four years of strengthening exercises with a physiotherapist, Christine began to ride again.
“Marty traded in his Harley for a bigger Harley and added special footboards and armrests so I could pillion once again,” she says.
Soon after, they explored ways to incorporate a wheelchair on the bike, and haven’t looked back.
“We found a small 8kg wheelchair and a friend made a small rack which sits on the right-hand side of the bike where a saddle bag usually sits.”
When Christine isn’t on the back of the Harley, she uses NDIS support to also get out more into the community in other ways.
“With NDIS funding, I have someone come every weekday to shower and dress me. On two of those days, I also go shopping and once a week the housework gets done. I’m also accessing physio and occupational therapy.
“The extra outings really give me a sense of freedom and I can go to more local businesses, shopping centres and nurseries.”