Inspiring Students and Amigo Celebrates 50 Years

Friendly Wheels, Issue 116

January 2018

Janice "Jani" Lynch, teacher and Amigo owner, shares how her Amigo has helped her continue her career. And... 2018 marks Amigo Mobility's 50th Anniversary!


Happy New Year! 2018 is a very special year for us as we are celebrating our 50th year in business. When my dad first invented the Amigo, I don’t think he planned on starting an industry. Instead, he was doing it to help people—to find a better way.

Fifty years later, he continues to work to find a better way. We are always challenged to improve our products and customer service, to grow into new markets, and to do whatever we can to help people.

This year, we will be sharing memories of our past five decades at the bottom of each Friendly Wheels. If you have a memory or photo to share, please send it to me!

Thank you for reading,

Jennifer Thieme Kehres

Friendly Wheels Editor |

Inspiring High School Students

Who was your most impactful teacher in high school? If you were to ask students of Janice “Jani” Lynch of Croswell-Lexington High School, she’d lead the list among many.

Jani Lynch has been a teacher in the Croswell-Lexington Community School District in Michigan for 20 years, and an Amigo owner for 14 years. Jani knows the school district well, as she is also an alumna.

“My Amigo has helped me continue my career as a teacher,” says Jani. “The Power Seat Lift has been great, too. It helps me write on the whiteboard in the classroom.”

Jani started her career as a math teacher. Now, she teaches Guided Academics, geared toward at-risk students, and Credit Recovery, which helps students get back on track to graduate. She enjoys helping her students bridge learning gaps, especially in mathematics.

“It’s an accomplishment when my students don’t need me anymore – it’s a good thing!” Jani explains.

Pictured: Jani Lynch with Jake Priest, Amigo Mobility Center consultant

Throughout her career she has positively impacted the lives – and grades – of hundreds of students.

“It wouldn’t have been the same without my Amigo. Being a teacher and helping students means a great deal to me,” says Jani. “This is my third Amigo, and it allows me to travel the hallways, go between desks, and, most importantly, provides me a way to continue doing what I love.”

Jani’s first Amigo was an RD; her second was a Viva; and, now—her favorite to date—is the RT Express, custom-painted her school’s color, Pioneer Blue.

She had an idea this year to help inspire her students. Many of her students are curious about her Amigo, some in her class this year enjoy working on engines. Her idea is to raffle a week with her old Amigo, the Viva, to the student who most improves his/her grades.

“I know some of my students really want to investigate the motor and test drive it,” Jani elaborates. “I’m hoping this will serve as extra motivation for them to bring up their grades and learn something new by studying an Amigo.”

Jani shows high school students every day that when there is passion to pursue a dream, they can make it a reality. Her enthusiasm and commitment to caring for students will continue to inspire classes for years to come.

Do you have a story to share in Friendly Wheels? Send ideas to Sarah at to be featured in a future newsletter!

Amigo Owner Helpful Tips

Spare key

Keeping a spare key handy is an excellent idea shared by an Amigo owner. An extra key can be stored in a wallet, bag, car console or space that is readily available to you in case your Amigo key is ever displaced.

Amigo owners can have one spare key mailed at no charge by contacting Amigo Customer Service at 1-989-777-0910 or


What to do if the key breaks in the ignition lock

Occasionally a key breaks off in the key lock. Use needle nose pliers or a flat knife to turn the key until a new key is sent. To remove the old key, turn off the Amigo. Put a 90-degree bend at the end of a paper clip or pin. Push the clip or pin into the key lock beside the key and twist and pull the key out.

For more helpful tips for your Amigo, click here.

Amigo Celebrates 50 Years!

2018 marks the beginning of Amigo Mobility’s 50th Anniversary.

Al Thieme, Chairman and Founder of Amigo Mobility, invented the first motorized mobility vehicle for a family member living with multiple sclerosis. Named for being the “friendly wheelchair,” Thieme constructed the “Amigo” in his garage while working full-time as a plumbing and heating contractor. Soon after—November 12, 1968 (to be precise)—Amigo Mobility International, Inc. was founded and an entire industry was born.

Learn more about Amigo's history here.

News Flash

Supporting Families in Many Helpful Ways

Supporting Families in Many Helpful Ways

Friendly Wheels, Issue 123

August 2018


Amigo owners often share inspiring stories. From overcoming a mobility challenge to figuring out innovative ways to go to new places to helping people in their communities, the experiences they share never cease to amaze us.

In this edition of Friendly Wheels, we get to meet Shannon DeWall, JD, an attorney, wife, mother and community volunteer in metro Detroit. Learn more about her story below.

A Family's Story of Reclaiming Hope

A Family's Story of Reclaiming Hope

Friendly Wheels, Issue 122

July 2018

In a time of crisis, it may be reassuring to know that there is another family that's experienced a similar situation: the Shepherds. James Shepherd and his mother founded the Shepherd Center, a not-for-profit hospital located in Atlanta, Georgia specializing spinal cord injury rehabilitation, in 1975 in response to an accident James endured as a young man. Learn more about his family's inspiring story.

This Amigo Owner Adds a Little Magic

This Amigo Owner Adds a Little Magic

Friendly Wheels, Issue 121

June 2018

Carrie Rostollan, a longtime member of the Amigo family, recently visited our Bridgeport facility for the Amigo Mobility Center open house. She shared with us some of her upcoming summer plans and entertained us with her magic tricks! Discover more about Carrie's 'magical' adventures.

Amigo Mobility Blog