Parksville man invents off-road walker

Parksville man invents off-road walker

WATCH: Rob Anaka, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, searched the world for a walker that could take him “off-road.” He eventually realized he’d have to make it himself.

Rob Anaka said his new three-wheel walker will people get out and enjoy life.

Three wheels never meant so much to Anaka. He’s had multiple sclerosis for years but always tried not to let it slow him down.

He likes to hike and photograph nature in the woods. It was during one of those outings in Calgary a few years ago when he knew a normal walker wasn’t cutting it.

“I got 10, 20 feet into it and realized that walking on gravel pathways was not going to happen,” said Anaka. “Even the slightest incline was hard and then eventually I got stuck in some snow and then I ended up dragging the walker behind me for half an hour.”

Most walkers used by the elderly or disabled have two small wheels and aren’t suitable for trails, sand or gravel. Other walkers with four slightly bigger wheels weren’t much better so Rob went in search of something he could use to get around, off-road.

“I searched worldwide,” he said. “I looked in Europe, all over the place and there was nothing. There was nothing that did anything like I wanted.”

So he set out to design one himself. Several prototypes later he had a three-wheel walker with large tires, disc brakes and round handles.

Anaka is not the only one using the walker. Diana LaMonte met Anaka though the Access Oceanside Association. She has a brain injury and usually uses a power chair, but “Rob’s Walkers” as they’re called gets her up and moving like she hasn’t in a long time.

“It’s so stable and I can go on any kind of surface with it, ” said LaMonte. “If it’s given me a new lease on life I can’t imagine what it will do for a lot of other people.”

A Rob’s Walkers base model goes for about $900. If you are interested in a walker, visit Rob Anaka’s website or Facebook page. 

Dean StoltzDean Stoltz

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