You have probably seen Mr Guido Jonckers on TV. He has played in many Dutch television series such as Flodder and Goede Tijden Slechte Tijden (the most popular soap opera in the Netherlands). He also played many roles in the theatre and presented travel programs for Teleac/Not. Guido Jonckers is also known as theatre director. After years of using the BalanceBelt every day, he told us about his balance disorder and how the BalanceBelt has given him the freedom to act and direct again.
What was your diagnosis?
“I have the DFNA9 gene. My hearing has completely gone. I hear through a CI (cochlear implant, hearing prosthesis) and my vestibular organs do not work at all. I have suffered from balance issues for at least 20 years. Unfortunately, the problems have increased over the years.”
How did this diagnosis affect your life?
“It had quite an influence on my life: I was afraid I would no longer be able to keep on with my professional acting career or direct in the theatre again.”
What does the BalanceBelt mean for you?
“Simply put in one word: safety.”
When do you use BalanceBelt?
“I use the Belt when I go for a walk and when it’s dark, then my eyes cannot see the horizon at all, and I get a zigzagging ‘intoxicated’ walk. I also use the BalanceBelt when I’m directing in the theatre,” tells Guido Jonckers.
I am retired, but I still work on a contract basis. Every year, I direct a big open-air play in Delft (the Netherlands). The Belt gives me the feeling of safety to move easier when I’m working with the actors in the rehearsal studio.
If I wouldn’t wear the BalanceBelt, I would be paying much more attention to my balance, and this means that I would put my concentration at work on the line. When I rehearse outside, I have to walk on uneven ground such as grass fields, and the Belt is an absolute solution for that: I am a lot more confident.”
In what ways has the BalanceBelt changed your quality of life?
“By wearing the Belt I am more confident in my daily life, I can engage more freely with my grandchildren and I can walk more relaxed with my wife. And I am more focused on my work.”
”“The BalanceBelt gives me just that bit of security to be able to move more easily when I'm working with the actors. If I were not to wear it, I would have to pay much more attention to my balance.”
What is the difference between walking with and without the BalanceBelt?
“Without the Belt, I zigzag a lot when I walk. I have to concentrate very hard on walking in a straight line, which is exhausting. With the Belt, it is less of a hassle for me. The zigzagging is not completely gone, but walking is a lot easier. Also, walking in the dark – which is almost impossible without Belt– gives me less anxiety.”
Would you recommend the BalanceBelt to someone with a balance problem?
“I would recommend the BalanceBelt to anyone who has severe balance problems. For me, it is a very good support.”
Now thanks to the BalanceBelt, Guido Jonckers can safely walk full of confidence again. And if that wasn’t all, he was able to return to his greatest passions: directing and enjoying life with ease.