A Bionic Hero

This is a sto­ry that unites recov­ery from the Boston Marathon bomb­ing, my mem­o­ries, and a young man who lost his legs to moun­tain climb­ing while still in high school. Hugh Herr was the boy’s name, and I fol­lowed his progress in the media. He attend­ed a neigh­bor­ing high school; I met his par­ents, and even a sis­ter at one time or anoth­er. His first ambi­tion was to get back on the moun­tains, climb­ing. And he did. He learned how bion­ic legs work, invent­ed his own bion­ic feet to help him climb, and con­quered impos­si­ble moun­tains.

Of course, that’s not the end of the sto­ry. He left the moun­tains and returned to bion­ics. Togeth­er with oth­er experts at MIT, he now works to help amputees return­ing from war as well as the dancer who lost her foot in Boston. The local arti­cle that remind­ed me of this amaz­ing man is “Hugh Herr and ‘the heal­ing pow­er of high tech­nol­o­gy’.” From that arti­cle, I found the site and video (at the end) with Hugh Herr’s talk and Adri­anne Haslet-Davis’ dance. Mr. Herr includes videos of his teen-age climbs, explains the progress of bion­ics, and shows a vari­ety of exam­ples as he walks on his bion­ic legs. The dancer grace­ful­ly demon­strates the ful­fill­ment of her dream. Both are tru­ly inspir­ing.

This post is noth­ing about books, but one that’s inspired me for years and one that I want­ed to share. There are many such peo­ple, even though we writ­ers focus on the evil and dan­ger­ous to amuse our read­ers. Of course, each sto­ry must include a hero, one to bring the world back into bal­ance. Just for today, I want to focus on those heroes in life.


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