Michael "Slinky" Slotwinski - The Athlete Inside
Ask Michael "Slinky" Slotwinski what he does, and he'll tell you a number of his hobbies and interests. However, ask him what he doesn't do, and he'll have just one answer.
"I don't let life pass me by," Slinky said. "In the past, I did a lot of sitting. Now, thanks to Pride® products, I'm always out in the world doing something."
Slinky, of Claymont, Del., has spina bifida. He stayed mobile for many years, but by 1998, Slinky's condition had progressed significantly, resulting in his need for a mobility product.
"My first product ever was a Pride Celebrity scooter, which I got in '98," Slinky said. "Since then, I've added a Wrangler, a Go-Go® Sport, and a Go-Go® LX with CTS Suspension to my collection."
Despite the challenges he has faced, Slinky, who is now 40, has not stopped doing the things that he loves. In particular, he is very active in wheelchair sports, averaging 1,500 miles a year on a hand cycle and playing wheelchair basketball for the Delaware Destroyers.
"As a kid, I wasn't really into sports," Slinky said. "I didn't even know wheelchair sports existed until my early 30s, but when I discovered them, I was intrigued."
Slinky has competed in the Philadelphia Marathon twice, and each September, he participates in Bike to the Bay in Delaware, a 150-mile ride that raises money for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
When he's not racing or on the basketball court, Slinky enjoys spending time with his family. He and his wife, Linda, have been married for 18 years. They have a 16-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, and an 11-year-old son, Michael.
"Seven years ago, I spent eight weeks in the hospital, and they were there with me every day," Slinky said of his wife and children.
Slinky uses a number of Pride products, but his current favorites are his Go-Go Travel Mobility Products.
"I like Pride's Go-Go products because they have great range and they're easy to transport," Slinky said. "I enjoy going to car shows, and thanks to Go-Go products, I'm able to attend them often, sometimes for a whole weekend."
In the rest of his spare time, Slinky volunteers as an administrator at the Claymont Moose Lodge in Wilmington, Del. The Moose Lodge is a fraternal organization that offers support services to children, seniors, families, and others who need them.
Over the years, Slinky has also been an active member of the Pride Owners Club.
"I've supported the Owners Club since the beginning," Slinky said. "All of the members are really nice, and they're always there to help you when you need it."
A long time ago, Slinky decided that he was going to live his life to the fullest, and he shows no signs of slowing down.
"Everything that I do, I owe to Pride products," Slinky said. "By giving me a sense of freedom that I wouldn't have found otherwise, they truly help me live my best."