This philanthropist has raised more than $2 million for robotic exoskeletons.
Meek was working in the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, and the image of first responders rushing into the burning building while he and his coworkers rushed out stuck with him, he told People.
To give back, Meek started SoldierStrong: Though he originally intended for the organization to provide daily necessities to deployed troops overseas, he shifted his focus to raising money for new exoskeletons for the veterans in 2012.
SoldierStrong has raised more than $2 million for the technology since 2012, and the organization's website says over 90 percent of donations go to helping injured veterans and first responders regain control of their arms and legs.
Meek calls it the SoldierSuit, but the exoskeletons are really an individualized combination of up to four separate devices: the LUKE modular prosthetic arm and the Myomo extending myoelectric prosthetic for arm movement; the BiONX ankle for foot and leg movement; and the Ekso GT robotic exoskeleton for full body movement.
“I went from being seated all the time to being able to stand,” Army Reserve veteran Dan Rose told People.
“I imagine that is the feeling people get when they get to the top of Mount Everest.”
Never serving in the military was one of Meek’s lifelong regrets, he told People, but we’re certain he’s paying these brave vets back in full.