When Sherry denBoer's balance started to go, she came to depend on a family heirloom Ã¢€â€œ an elegant wooden cane topped off with a brass eagle's head that had borne the weight of her grandfather.
But it wasn't quite the fashion statement the 48-year-old Haliburton resident was looking to make.
"It was very masculine. I thought, `If I'm going to need a cane for the rest of my life, why not have one to suit each mood, just like I'd buy a bag or a pair of shoes?'"
It took a while, but denBoer finally found a company that also believes canes can be cool, not to mention a handy tool for smashing stereotypes about getting old and infirm. Much to her surprise, Canes Canada was a quick courier trip away in Calgary.
"I ordered two canes and when they arrived, I was actually excited," says denBoer, whose medical condition doctors still are struggling to diagnose. "I ordered one that is funky, the Highlander Blue, and I use it all the time. The other one is dressy. It'll be good for Christmas.
"You don't want your cane taking away from your clothes."
That positive attitude to the inevitable Ã¢€â€œ aging and failing health Ã¢€â€œ is what drove Llano Gorman to found Canes Canada (www.canescanada.com) eight years ago. Well, that and a faulty ladder that sent him crashing six metres to the ground when he was just 30. Fifteen operations, and 16 years later, he's still dependent on a cane..............continued below