- Selma Blair revealed she is using the Alinker walking bike to get around in a recent Instagram post.
- Blair, who has an aggressive form of multiple sclerosis, is dealing with mobility issues, a common symptom of the disease. She has also used a cane in the past.
- The Alinker is “designed to be so cool that it overcomes the uneasiness towards disabilities.”
Selma Blair has repeatedly given fans a glimpse on social media into what it’s like to live with multiple sclerosis. And now, she’s got a cool new MS-inspired toy she’s showing off.
Blair, 46, shared a photo of herself on Instagram, posing on a bright yellow tricycle. “I got places to go!” Sometimes I can’t do it on my own two feet,” she wrote in the caption. “Sometimes I have to sit down and roll with the punches. I saw this #alinker at my #ms doctor’s office and wanted one.”
Blair says she borrowed one from a friend, but eventually actress Jamie Lynn Sigler (who also has MS) bought one for her. “Anyone wanna join me on a #walkabletrike ride. I love being able to move at the speed of sound. Totally here for this innovation,” Blair wrote.
The trike Blair is riding is called an Alinker, and it’s a non-motorized walking bike that was created to help people who have trouble walking, according to the brand’s website. The bike is “designed to be so cool that it overcomes the uneasiness towards disabilities that is felt by mainstream society,” the website says. “When you are using the Alinker, you are the person with that cool bike rather than someone who is overlooked or ignored.”
Why do some people with MS need help walking?
Backing up a moment, multiple sclerosis is a chronic and often debilitating disease of the central nervous system. When you have MS, your immune system attacks the fatty substances that help insulate your nerve fibers (called myelin), according to the National MS Society. This can cause a range of symptoms like fatigue, pain, speech problems, and difficulty walking.
MS affects everyone differently but difficulty walking is listed by the National MS Society as one of the more common symptoms of the disease. This can be related to a few things, like muscle weakness, spasticity, loss of balance, and fatigue. “MS affects the nerve fibers and it can affect the motor fibers that control movement of the arms and legs,” says Santosh Kesari, MD, PhD, a neurologist and neuroscientist at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, Calif. People who have difficulty walking with MS are at high risk for falls due to a lack of coordination or weakness, he says.
To treat mobility issues, people with MS may undergo physical therapy, take medication, and use assistive therapy like crutches, a cane (which Blair also uses), and other mobility aids, Dr. Kesari says. Some people struggle with the idea of using these devices, Dr. Kesari says (although having celebrities like Blair look amazing while using a cane definitely helps normalize them). “Obviously, anything that helps, makes it easier for you to be out and about, and makes you feel good is great,” he says.
The Alinker isn’t cheap-it retails for $1,977-but the company helps people try to crowdfund money to afford it. Blair also suggested that she’s trying to find a way to make this more accessible to others. “Can anyone help me strategize how to get some donated to people who need? Fun!” she wrote.
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