From Amputee to Monocyclist: The Inspiring Story of Márcio Frascino

The way we move around in cities is becoming increasingly democratic and inclusive. New types of transportation, especially electric ones, are consolidating themselves as efficient alternatives for being more economical and eco-friendly.

Despite the specially adapted vehicles for people with reduced mobility, conventional electric micro-modes are compact and free of physical effort.

Therefore, they have also caught the attention of people with some type of mobility limitation. An inspiring example comes from a São Paulo native who, after a tragic accident that caused the amputation of one leg, found a new way of getting around.

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The Life-Altering Accident

This story began in 2018, when Márcio Frascino, then 32 years old, had been working for a long time in the office of a multinational company in the western zone of São Paulo. He commuted almost daily from Lapa to Perdizes on his motorcycle.

He had an intense life, with many trips and regular sports practice. However, on March 23, 2018, everything changed: he had an accident, crashing into a bus with his motorcycle. As a result, his right leg was amputated above the knee. And now? What will my life be like? – was his first thought.

It was a long journey until the complete healing of the cut (which required more than 100 stitches), learning to walk with crutches, acquiring an expensive prosthesis capable of providing him with adequate quality of life, and finding a purpose for his life.

He spent almost seven months at home before returning to work, already with the prosthesis but still not mastering its use.

Adaptations and Willpower

His mobility became a huge challenge. The mobility of amputees often requires adaptations, such as in the case of a modified car that Frascino owns. And to drive it, a special PWD (person with disabilities) license is also required.

However, for short distances, there was still a need for a more practical solution. That’s when Márcio Frascino decided to explore portable modes of transportation that could be driven with the use of his prosthesis.

At first, the option of an electric unicycle seemed impossible. After all, riding a one-wheeled vehicle requires training. But even knowing the initial difficulties, Frascino’s resilience prevented him from giving up the idea.

After succeeding in the first lessons, he still needed to learn to mount the unicycle more easily. It was then that, seeing a similar case of another amputee from Thailand (who is also a unicyclist), he understood that, to perform the ‘mount’, he would need to lift the hip on the side of the prosthesis, pull the foot to rest it on the pedal, and then stabilize the body in the upright position necessary for proper vehicle operation.

Initially, he used lateral supports to perform the maneuver, which is no longer necessary now. Márcio Frascino is the only amputee in Brazil who drives an electric unicycle with great ease. He has a model capable of reaching a top speed of 30 km/h.

I use the unicycle almost daily, especially for leisure and to go to theater class. It’s my therapy,” he says, always with a good sense of humor.

Now, at 35 years old, Frascino aims to inspire people, showing that a positive approach to life’s different situations is the key to being happy and contributing to helping others with their own difficulties.

Today, when riding his electric unicycle on the bike lanes, it is not uncommon to find a child who, after mentally putting together the unicycle (a still uncommon vehicle in the São Paulo landscape) and his metallic prosthesis, quickly rushes to call him a ‘robot’ or ‘superhero’, labels that Frascino rejects. “I am an ordinary person relearning to live and now with a very clear purpose of inspiring people,” he says.

Final Thoughts

Márcio Frascino’s story teaches us about resilience, determination, and the power of adapting to new challenges.

Despite losing his leg in a motorcycle accident, Frascino refused to give up on his life and instead, found new ways to overcome his limitations. He learned to walk with a prosthetic leg, adapted his car for driving, and even learned how to ride a monocycle.

Frascino’s story is an inspiration to all of us, reminding us that with a positive attitude and the willingness to adapt, we can overcome any obstacle in our path. No matter how challenging our circumstances may be, there is always a way to move forward, find new solutions, and achieve our goals.

So let Márcio Frascino’s story motivate you to pursue your dreams, no matter what challenges you face. With perseverance and a positive mindset, anything is possible.