Mobility scooter makes rock festivals fun again for Diane - TGA Mobility
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8th November, 2023

Mobility scooter makes rock festivals fun again for Diane

Fanatic festival fan Diane Perlmutter, 51 from Borehamwood with ME/CFS, is ‘rockin’ life again’ thanks to a new Minimo mobility scooter she’s nicknamed ‘Zippy’.

Rock music is everything to Diane. From posters to artwork to vinyl, she’s got it all. Reminding her of seeing rock greats like STARZ and Aerosmith, Diane has literally been there and got the T-shirt, every T-shirt. Gigs and going to STONEDEAD Festival is her big thing but living with chronic fatigue can be the showstopper she doesn’t want. So she’s turned to a Minimo mobility scooter from TGA. Nicknamed ‘Zippy’ it’s not only got her out seeing gigs again, it’s got her life back on track as well.

Diane’s not someone who gives in easily and admits that she has previously struggled to accept the limitations of her disability. However, her ‘use it or lose it’ approach was not working before a Minimo came along: “My scooter has made such a difference to my mental and physical health. I was always worried about my physical health deteriorating further but what I didn’t realise was how much my mental health was being affected by not being able to go out. I would push/crash my wheelchair all the time which made my ME/CFS worse, whereas having the Minimo allows me to pace and manage my health better. Going to STONEDEAD Festival last year was the turning point. I went straight to the ‘merch’ tent, then had to sit on the grass to recover for ages, went for food and drink, then had to recover and so it went on. No matter how much the organisers, volunteers and all my friends helped me, I was broken when I got home. I knew I simply had to have a scooter to return the following year. So, I called TGA.”

“TGA were amazing. I called Samantha multiple times and she was able to answer all my questions, she was so helpful. She arranged for Graham to come out and see me in Borehamwood with different Minimo scooters to try. Graham was fabulous, he went through everything with me, took his time, no pressure. The folding ‘compactability’ of the Minimo was the big selling point for me as I could take it on buses, trains and planes whilst also being able to fit it into the boot of a car. I basically needed something that I could have with me at all times; it was vital that I could ride it inside small shops too. Another big selling point is that it folds in seconds and takes up minimal storage space at home making it easily accessible. It’s very lightweight plus the battery pack can be removed from the scooter to charge or you can charge it on board. All of these factors meant that the Minimo ticked all the boxes for me.”

“It was the best feeling in the world when I first trialled my Minimo. To feel the wind in my hair was amazing. Before I wasn’t leaving my flat much and I’m talking for weeks on end if I wasn’t well. Now if I’m not feeling well, I can still get out and gigs are definitely becoming possible again.”

Being able to take her Minimo to Mötley Crüe both at The Underworld and at Wembley Stadium was ‘beyond amazing’ as literally just a few months prior she thought she’d have to cancel. Same with STONEDEAD 2023. All possible thanks to ‘Zippy’. And the gigs just keep on coming… Queens of the Stone Age at the O2 in November followed by a flight to Roskilde in Denmark to see Sack Trick.

“I cannot wait to take my Minimo on a plane. That’s the only thing I’ve not tried yet. I’m going on my own. I’ve booked the trip and as the Minimo has an 11.5ah battery which is airline approved so you can take it right up to the plane door, where the scooter is folded and put in the hold and then you just carry the battery pack onboard. Flying to Denmark with ‘Zippy’ has been a huge goal for me. I’ve been going every year since 2017 to see Sack Trick play their annual Christmas show and this year it’s their 20th anniversary show so it’s extra special! My next big adventure will hopefully be to New York to see STARZ or Jesse Malin play!”

When not in a world of music, you’ll find Diane down at the gym where she’s fundraising for musician, Jesse Malin. A recent spinal stroke has left him paralysed from the waist down, so she’s just completed a 16-day Fitness Challenge to help raise money towards his medical bills. “I get to the gym in five minutes on my scooter. Previously if I walked and then swam a few lengths, I was bedbound for a month as I was not able to tolerate cardio. With that in mind I now go on my scooter and do seated weight training exercises in the e-gym which is much more sustainable. I’m going 2-3 times a week and the staff have been so supportive of me and look after my scooter behind reception. Having my Minimo and in turn going to the Gym has turned my life around in a matter of months.”

Diane life is now full of festivals, freedom and friendship. She’s always believed the show must go on however hard life is when living with a disability. Wrapping up Diane says: “Since becoming ill in 2012 although I’ve managed to travel to shows ME/CFS has restricted me so much in terms of what I’m able to do. My trips tend to revolve around staying in the hotel during the day and going out in the evening for gigs, so I’m never able to sightsee or go to the shops. It’s extremely limiting. However already in just a few months ‘Zippy’ has become my lifeline. She’s an extension of me. After 11 long years I feel that I am “living” again. It’s an incredible feeling. Thank you TGA for giving me my life back!”

Discover the full range of TGA folding scooters here.


Jess Malin donations can be made here

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