Spring Hobbies and How To's

Friendly Wheels, Issue 118

March 2018

Getting back into gardening was important to Yvonne McKinsey. Learn how she and her husband found a way to better use her Amigo in the garden!


Keeping Hobbies with Your Amigo

Getting back into the garden was important to Yvonne McKinsey. Gardening is a hobby you can enjoy your entire life, but some of the tasks required to manage a garden can become harder as physical abilities change.

In 2014, Yvonne got her first Amigo, a red RT Express. She and her husband, Lee, chose an Amigo because they wanted a “good machine” and liked that it was made locally and, if needed, could be serviced locally, too.

“It’s been a great help,” Yvonne says. “My Amigo hasn’t had to be serviced yet.”

Yvonne and Lee are from Flushing, Michigan, and have been married nearly 60 years (60th anniversary happens in April!). They were married shortly after Lee returned from serving in the U.S. military.

As the decades have rolled by, Yvonne has had more time to dedicate to one of her favorite hobbies, gardening. Their garden is 100’ by 100’.

“Big enough to keep her out of trouble,” Lee jokes.

To help Yvonne stay active in the garden, Lee designed a gardening trailer for her Amigo.

“It was simple to make,” says Lee. “We got a plastic soda crate from the grocery store – just about any plastic or wood crate could work. I used ½” all-thread, two 6” wheels and flat stock for the tongue, and bag-tied everything.”

The small trailer attaches to the back of Yvonne’s Amigo. It’s just the right size to hold the five gallon pail she uses when gardening.

“It’s a much better solution than trying to fit my gardening pail on the platform between my feet,” Yvonne states.

The Amigo works well for her in the garden. The 360-degree swivel seat allows her to easily work between the rows and reach the pail held in the trailer. They designed their garden to have five-foot aisleways, and Lee uses a lawn tractor to pack down the soil in the aisles.

Some of Yvonne’s favorite items to plant and grow in the garden are green beans, tomatoes, onions, corn and flowers. From Memorial Day through the end of summer, Yvonne can often be found tending to her garden.

Yvonne and Lee found a great way to keep an enjoyable activity in her life. For everyone, keeping hobbies is important for health to reduce stress, structure time and stay active.

A few additional tips on how to create an accessible garden are:

Raised Beds

Raised garden beds are easier for planting, weed control and harvesting. Build gardening beds to a height of 28 – 30 inches (71 – 76 cm) so you can tend to the plants from any side.

Container Gardening

Grow plants and vegetables in containers that you can easily move from the outside indoors.

Soaker Hoses

Water conservative soaker hoses save time, labor and provide a very efficient way to irrigate plants without wasting water.

Extendable Tools

There is no longer a need to risk straining your neck, back or arms when pruning, raking or working the soil. Garden product makers like FiskarsCoronaGripworksdisABILITY Work ToolsLife With Ease and others offer extendable tools.

Do you have hobbies you enjoy doing with your Amigo? Share your story with us! Email Sarah at speyok@myamigo.com.

Amigo Owner Helpful Tips

Learn how to prevent your Amigo tiller from slipping in the service video below.

Amigo Celebrates 50 Years!

Al Thieme, Founder and Chairman of Amigo, has always put people first. Things can be created to assist with activities, but personality, style and attitude exist within a person.

For more than 50 years, Al has had the pleasure of getting to know thousands of Amigo owners. His memories are vast, and the stories he shares are inspiring.

Since the 1970s, Al saw the need to break down the barriers people with different abilities often encounter. Especially in the era from 1970 through the early 1990s, advertising did not feature much diversity. People using mobility aids weren’t captured in glossy advertisements or primetime television.

“People may have been shy about using a mobility aid, and we wanted to show them how fun using an Amigo could be and build up our Amigo family,” Thieme states.

His enthusiasm for putting people first and bringing Amigo owners together led to Amigo Owner Round Up events. Held in cities throughout the U.S., Al brought people together to participate in fun events.

To learn more about Amigo’s history, follow us on Facebook

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