My name is Niek, I am 25 years old and I live in Enschede. My passion has always been working on and driving cars. Together with my girlfriend we have participated in several car races. We really like to race!
The reason for my paraplegia is cancer. First I had a tumour in my head, and later two in my spine. The latter ones caused my paraplegia. Luckily, years of chemotherapy worked, and since two years the tumours are gone.
Currently, I am the pilot of the Symbitron+ team to take part in the Cybathlon. I am really motivated to negotiate all the obstacles and I spent hours on training to beat the record times for each of these obstacles using our exoskeleton.
My name is Dennie Jager. I am 24 years old and live in Wagenborgen in Groningen. I have a complete spinal cord injury at the height of my chest (T4/5), because of a one-sided scooter accident in October 2014.
I train with the ReWalk exoskeleton, in addition to my full job at Avebe. This is made possible by the foundation Walk On. Walk On was founded in March 2016 and wants to make it possible to let people with a spinal cord injury walk again. I have reached this goal, but I would like to make this possible for more people with a spinal cord injury. This is the reason for me to be an ambassador of the foundation Walk On. More information about the foundation Walk On can be found on the following page: https://www.stichting-walk-on.org/
I also have a passion for handcycling. My handcycling-career started with the ‘Handbikebattle’ in 2018 in Austria, a challenge to climb the Kaunertaler gletscher in Tirol. It was a 20 km course with height difference of 863 m, so I am in for a challenge.
At this moment I am a pilot of the Symbitron+ team, which is going to participate in the Cybathlon in 2020. It is a great challenge and opportunity, which I accepted without doubts. I am motivated to train with the exoskeleton and to tackle all the obstacles.
My name is Ruben de Sain, 37 years of age and I live in Nijmegen. On the 7th of September 2005 i suffered a spinal cord injury th11 level during a motorcycle accident. Before the accident I lived a very active life with a lot of sports and hobbies (ice hockey, bandy, tennis, skiing, jet-skiing, mountainbiking) After this accident I tried to live my life as active as I did before and I am still doing a lot of the sports mentioned above. Also I added a new hobby. My dog Bram. He is a 3 year old brown labrador and I love to go out with him to the woods or the beach.
I also love my job. We build and sell self balancing wheelchairs. These chairs use Segway technology and the great part is that these chairs give back a lot of freedom to people who have difficulties with walking. These chairs can ride over all sort of terrain and can also be used inside. The smile these machines bring to their users faces is what drives me every day....
I came in contact with the exoskeleton during a trial in the end of 2015. I participated in a study of the effects of long term use of the exoskeleton on the body of a paraplegic. After this trial ended I needed to give the exoskeleton back to the clinic. I decided that I wanted 1 for myself and because an exoskeleton is very expensive I started a crowdfunding. After a lot of media attention and tv appearances I managed to raise over € 80.000,- within 2 weeks time. Since 2016 i am the proud owner of my own exoskeleton.
With this exoskeleton and my physician I have given a lot of lectures and presentations about the exoskeleton and the use of it. All to promote these machines and try to convince health insurers of the medical and social benefits of the exoskeleton. The thought of having an exoskeleton available for every persons that could benefit from it is what drives me to do all this.