Who am I
My name is Nick van Steendelaar, was born in 1990 and I have a muscular dystrophy called Duchenne. When I turned 8 the wheelchair was permanent and walking became impossible. When I turned 18 , 24-hour respiratory support was needed. In 2014 drinking and eating became a problem and I had to get a stomach tube to continue my food and drinks.
My whole life I have been obsessed with cars, 5 years ago I bought my own car so I could passionately enjoy driving as a passenger. Still my biggest dream is to drive a car myself one day.
The most of my free time I love doing videogames, preferably racing games because I can’t drive in real life. Because of my muscular strength limitations I had to switch up my gaming setup with the use of a mouth joystick and I even got 3rd place worldwide with an online race event of The Crew, people couldn’t believe that I was racing with my mouth. Haha I will never forget that moment!
Twice a week I take part in an evening youth project for people with a disability, I visit allot of music concerts/festivals, going to the movies with friends and watching tv shows. To be short I enjoy everything that’s possible within my disabilities limitations and sometimes even beyond. My position in life is very positive considering the setbacks I had.
This year I came up with the idea to drive a car myself.
My idea is to customize a car in such a way that I can control it. With my strength limitations getting a drivers licence is nearly impossible so the racetrack is my only option. Drag racing is my ultimate goal.
Since you only need to drive in a straight line with drag racing, it’s not too tiring for me and is attainable with the necessary car customization.
How do I want to realize this?
I want to control my car digitally. For steering I want to use my mouth joystick. And because I still have allot of strength in my thumbs, I want to do gas/brake with pressure sensitive buttons. The technology needed to do this will be hard to make but where there’s a will, there’s a way.
Then recreate my wheelchair’s seating position in the car, tune the car for speed and then hopefully I can start testing!
The capital needed for my project will be around 10 000$. Ideally 15-20 000$ to make the car more safe for racing and add additional features. Having a car with good parts will lower running costs in the end.
When the car is finished and finalised I want to share my car with other people with a disability. It maybe looks like a impossible project but with the right people and the right frame of mind anything is possible!
Do you want to support my incentive?
Donating or supporting
You can donate via credit card or IDEAL
We are at 6750 € and counting!
The project has officially started, check here to see the progress: Project Dragrace