Rob Haag has worked at Ripple for seven years. I have known Rob and his wife Julie for ten. And I have always known that they were extraordinary people. But a larger calling is a powerful thing.
Rob and Julie’s first born son, Michael, was born without a fully developed hand. They were sad. And I’m sure they soul-searched and wondered “why us?” for a little while.
But then they decided to start kicking ass. They helped start and promote The Open Prosthetics Project. The OPP is an organization created to harness the power of smart, caring people to begin to design great prosthetics in a way the traditional industry simply can’t. Michael goes from having a 3-pound hook in his hand to having a built-in, kick-ass, Spiderman fishing arm! For the love of pete! What kid doesn’t want a built-in, kick-ass, Spiderman fishing arm!?!?!
So here’s the thing:
1. The world of prosthetics is about to get exponentially better. Kids, adults, Vets, you name it – these people are going to have better lives. There are a million people out there who need this.
2. The stigma of prosthetics is about to melt away. I was at a BBQ a few weeks ago and every other kid there was jealous, Jealous! of Michael because of his “cool” hand. Just think how much better Michael’s life is going to be because the Haags and everyone else at OPP are giving him tools that give him an edge in life both functionally, and socially.
I learned that you need to find things that need to be better, and make them kick ass.
And that I am very proud be friends with the Haags.
Bravo. If the world was full of Haag’s we’d all be better off.
Kudos to the Haags!! Indeed, “the world of prosthetics is about to get exponentially better.” Check out the world’s first bionic man: http://www.ric.org/bionic/
Hi. While in the Dr’s office I seen accent health showing the story of Robert Haag, I was so excited to get home and view the web site!! My son Chase was born July 29, 2001 with only two digits on his left hand, they said his hand fused with the umbilical cord at the very beginning of his development. I have had him to UNC Chapel Hill but with no real hope. I live in Spring Lake N.C., and I would love to be in contact with the Haags, I share their love and concern for their son. I am a single parent and also looking for ways of improvement for Chase. He has a lobster effect looking hand and can use it quite accordingly, he can pick up the smallest of objects with his big thumb and little pinkie, however I would love to share with and from the Haags, I truly feel the same way…have found a ray of sunshine when I say their story, I don’t feel so alone now…[email protected]..
Interesting site, always a new topic .. good luck in the new 2011. Happy New Year!