We are proud to introduce you to the pilot of the third Project MARCH team: Sjaan Quirijns. Sjaan has already some experience with walking in an exoskeleton. She participated in a research project of the Sint Maartenskliniek, whereby she learned to walk in a (commercial) exoskeleton prototype. In the vlog below is an introduction from our twenty-third, and probably most important, team member.
As the pilot of Project MARCH, it is of great importance to be in physical top condition. Sjaan is no stranger to the sports world. Since Sjaan was diagnosed at the age of 24 after a sports accident, she didn't throw in the towel. She came in contact with a whole new sports world where she proved to be very successful. She cycled up the Alp d'Huez with a handbike and, if that's not impressive enough, in that same week she also cycled up the Kautertaler GletscherStraße: a handbikebattle where the finish is 20 km and 2150 meter of altitude (with a substantial percentage of increase) ahead. Sjaan did not only cycled a lot, but she also started with adapted rowing. She participated in the 2014 World championships and even became the Dutch national indoor champion. Besides this, she also played wheelchair tennis, back in the days sometimes against Claudia Bosch-Comijn, the pilot of MARCH I. Nowadays, Sjaan loves to make runs and hiking tours. If the weather allows, Sjaan will train daily with a 10 km run including steep bridges. Sjaan is with no doubt a sports enthusiast. Besides sports, Sjaan also has a bunch of other hobbies. Going to the cinema to watch a movie is her top favorite. She also loves tasty, but healthy cooking, photographing and reading.
Project MARCH & Sjaan
In daily life, Sjaan works full time at the Hogeschool of Utrecht as a functional manager. She has a lot of experience working with different targets groups, which comes in handy for this project. That is because Project MARCH works with so-called co-creation. Whereby the collaboration with the pilot and the team is central. With the feedback of the pilot, so from Sjaan, we adjust the design to get the most optimal as possible result: an user-friendly exoskeleton to use in daily activities that can hopefully replace the wheelchair in the long run.