By Susan Taylor
A good friend of ours, Kirk, is a closet, superhero fanatic and cartoonist. His son and my son Jacob are good friends. When Jacob, 6, needed a new pair of ankle-foot orthotics (AFOs), he had a hard time deciding what design he'd like imprinted on them. His last two pairs had featured Superman and Spiderman, but this time he wanted something different.
“How about Super Jacob?” Kirk suggested. Jacob thought this was an AWESOME idea. “Would Super Jacob wear a cape?” asked Kirk. “Yes, a green one! And he carries a shield!” replied Jacob.
“How about a force field to protect against bad guys?” asked Kirk. “Yes! And boots with rocket-fire jets for fast getaways!” enthused Jacob.
Kirk went to work with his paper and pencil, and soon, Super Jacob (above) came to life.
John Kooy, certified orthotist at Holland Bloorview, was happy to transpose the digital image of Super Jacob provided by Kirk onto Jacob's new AFOs. John noted that this was the first pair of orthotics he's ever done with a custom superhero design. Often children choose or bring in favourite art work, patterns, pictures or characters.
Kirk and Jacob were so pleased with the end result that they've decided to form SUPER POSSIBILITIES, a not-for-profit service that will give kids needing AFOs or other supports the opportunity to proudly wear their inner-superhero personalities!
Kirk says he can create a custom superhero based on a couple of photos of a child and a phone interview. “I am keen to do this and have a few artist friends who are willing to help if demand gets too high.”
Kirk and Jacob charge nothing for their time. They simply hope that they can help build a new league of superheroes, one AFO at a time!
If your child wishes to have their own unique superhero designed for a pair of orthotics, e-mail Kirk at firstname.lastname@example.org or Susan at email@example.com.