When Eric Engelman was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at age 23, he vowed not to let it slow him down. Twelve years later, Eric has a 7-year-old daughter and a business. Inspired by Eric and guided by a commitment to volunteer service, his entire family has made it a tradition to support the Southern California and Nevada Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
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When Ryan Fann was just 3, he lost his left leg after being hit by a truck while riding his Big Wheel tricycle. The accident didn’t stop this determined little boy, but it wasn’t until an interested coach and an anonymous benefactor outfitted him with a proper prosthesis designed for runners that Fann truly took off. The experience would lead him to co-found the nonprofit Amputee Blade Runners, which offers the same kind of help to other aspiring athletes.
After receiving her master’s degree in international affairs, Annie Eissler got a job at a nonprofit devoted to promoting Africa’s development in education and work skills. Many years later, she would find herself back, virtually, in Africa, doing similar work as a volunteer. But it would take a much-needed career detour and a life-threatening illness to bring her full circle.
A few years ago when Ivan Owen found himself building marionettes, he posted a video of his latest project, a giant mechanical hand with semi-articulated fingers. That post would spark a movement that became known as e-Nable, a global community of inventors dedicated to sharing their efforts to help make affordable prosthetics.