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.