This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of United Rentals. The opinions and text are all mine.
If you are a Millennial nerd (like me), you probably spent way too many hours sitting in front of the TV watching a show called Glee. (If you groaned, hang with me. I promise this is way more important than a well-choreographed version of “Don’t Stop Believing.”) In Glee, there was a wheelchair-bound character named Artie who, in one Christmas episode receives the present of an exosuit.
He puts on the robotic gear, clicks his legs into place, turns on a button and…
He can walk.
I watched the episode and cried. I couldn’t help my weepy, soft self. It was a beautiful moment… for a fictional character played by an able-bodied actor. The exosuit, I thought, was basically science fiction. After all, wouldn’t people be using these en masse if they were real?
Fast forward about 5-or-so years, and exosuits are real. (Of course, they were real before, but they’ve gained popularity and have become more readily available.) Real as in, people-are-wearing-them-and-having-their-lives-changed real. Real as in, wounded-veterans-put-them-on-and-get-mobility-they-haven’t-had-since-their-injury real. Real as in, watch-this-video real.
As you can probably guess, exosuits are incredibly expensive pieces of robotic equipment. Not everyone has access to them or can afford them, even though they offer people the opportunity for increased mobility and an improvement of their quality of life.
A non-profit, SoldierStrong, is working diligently to get more veterans into exosuits and give them cutting edge therapy they need to be able to use the suits successfully. It’s expensive, hard work, but they have a veterans-first business partnering with them. This summer, United Rentals’ initiative, Turns For Troops, is using their sponsorship of the Graham Rahal IndyCar Series to bring visibility to SoldierStrong’s mission.
For every lap completed by Graham Rahal this racing season, United Rentals will donate $50 to SoldierStrong, up to $100,000. And $50 isn’t an arbitrary number– it takes $50 to provide one day of SoldierStrong’s SoldierSuit to one wounded veteran.
Besides exosuits, SoldierStrong also provides continuing education services to veterans and their spouses. Their work helps military families get back on their feet– literally and figuratively. They’ve sent a message to thousand of veteran families– don’t stop believing! (Do you really think I could resist another easy Glee reference? The answer is no, no I couldn’t!
Help United Rentals and SoldierStrong bring mobility and independence to people who have already given so much. Click here or the link below to find out how to donate.