A disability becomes what the person does of it.
Even if our mobility may be limited, solutions exist ; our society allows this to be exceeded. I chose to demonstrate that it is possible to carry out actions, displacements, projects while being in an electric chair with a high quadriplegia..
My actions :
To promote my autonomy : freedom has no price ! getting to move alone for me was a first challenge ! It is done I drive my own car, equipped for my type of handicap and even more, like a camper van to promote my autonomy in travel.
This success has transformed my life opening up a "field of possibilities" that I never imagined since the beginning of my handicap.
Disabled quadriplegic incomplet in an electric wheelchair residing in Millau in the Aveyron since 1993, I plan the summer of 2014 to participate in the photo rally Paris Cap Nord with my light Utility adapted to my transport and fitted to sleep.
Son of Auvergnats farmers, my life as a student near Nantes ended on February 24, 1989 in a car accident.
Since then I will now have to combine everything with a wheelchair and a very reduced mobility. After several visits to the rehabilitation centre, my life as a student takes shape again thanks to computer technology at a vocational retraining centre in Millau in 1993. This training will allow me to enter the world of work.
But it will not be until 2004 that I acquire a van that will allow me to take back the steering wheel thanks to a tailor-made arrangement made by a renowned handicap installer from Paris.
The installation of sleeping equipment in my van now allows me to travel every summer to colder areas and every spring or autumn to warmer areas, my body no longer regulates my temperature. This equipment allows me to overcome all the accessibility problems caused by an incomplete quadriplegic handicap in an electric wheelchair, to sleep comfortably in a double bed with a mattress adapted at a very low cost safely in a campsite, with good organisation and facilitated mobility.
These adventures in complete autonomy, the discovery of a rich European culture, allow me for a moment to forget my handicap thanks to exceptional companions. Our talents as amateur photographers combined, allow us to bring back photographs of these unforgettable and precious journeys.
The range of leisure activities being very limited for a handicap as heavy as mine, travelling to new horizons has become a vital passion. So in 9 years my van Mercedes Sprinter has covered 200,000 kilometers which have taken me from Amsterdam to Berlin, Bruges, Girona, Figueras, Andorra, Lourdes, Carcassonne, Monaco, the Luberon, several times in Brittany, Provence, Paris and Barcelona.
All these trips are of a relatively respectable distance. Also in recent years I plan to go to the Scandinavian countries to observe the midnight sun with North Cap rally.
For this trip, the organization proves more complicated, as well as the distance that is a consequent for a crew of two. While I was looking for a Scandinavian student on Montpellier to have a drop point and a good guide, a former colleague, passionate about photography, informed me of the photo rally Paris cap nord, about 80 crews, which he plans to do in a few years.
After some telephone conversations and e-mails exchanged with the founder, manager Philippe BOUCHER, I deduce that this is the right formula to go safe and avoid to manage a heavy camping organization, ferries and sights to visit and miss as little as possible over such a long distance.
This great rally will be a unique experience for me.
Presentation of our atypical duo :
She is a specialized educator student of 23 years, he an incomplete quadriplegic computer scientist of 45 years the handicap brought them together for a major project. Being in a team of the Paris North Cap photo rally 2015
They have been preparing this rally since 2010.
The year they met, Amélie was a student and wanted to discover new horizons, Gilles was open-minded and adventurous with a real desire for freedom, autonomy and sharing.
Through technology, the net allowed them to communicate and unite two universes, two beings who surely would not have crossed at random of an encounter.
Amelie was 18 and decides to share a human adventure with Gilles. She took the measure and the stakes of such support. We must adapt, learn and always improve, but complicity makes things simple. Gilles is a pedagogue and adapts the care gestures for himself, he guides them through the process .
In 2010, We started by some small summer campings in France with a sleeping van.
Then Switzerland in 2013 and Denmark over three weeks in 2014.
As the summers go by, the organization becomes more refined. We know each other better, the care gestures become a routine, simpler and more precise. We learn to live together.
We share a common interest in reading, photography and a passion for travel.
From this friendly relationship that is setting in, we decide to take a step forward that of a greater adventure : the Paris North Cap photo rally 2015.
For Gilles, the idea is to show that disability is not an obstacle to freedom.
This duo is leading a fight, that of proving to society, to your citizens and actors of our project, that disability must not be synonymous with exclusion.
We want to prove that it is possible to act, to be an actor in one’s own life.
Amélie believes that difference must be a strength and not a division for our society, which is still too discriminatory and individualistic.
For her this experience is a moment of life that is gripping and enriching. A life lesson that allows to take the measure and the meaning of life.
Giving up or fighting are the key words she will remember from the start.
This project requires us to have confidence in ourselves, in our capabilities and in our organization.