Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Meet the Man Who Can’t Walk, Talk or Use His Hands and Yet Runs a Multi-Million Dollar Capitalism-Inspired Charity

The next time you consider taking a sick day, think about this guy. Avichai Kremer was 29-years-old and on top of the world. A native of Israel, he’d been accepted to Harvard Business School and was just beginning his studies within those ivy walls when the devastating news arrived.

After feeling numbness in his fingers, which made holding a coffee mug difficult, he was diagnosed with ALS – Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis — commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, a degenerative condition in which muscles gradually atrophy, ultimately leading to complete paralysis. After nine years with the disease, Kremer is unable to move his arms, legs, or to speak. But his brain functions perfectly as does his brilliant mind, which he decided to put to very good use.

When he received the terrible news, Kremer retreated to bed depressed for several days, but upon arising, he decided he had to take action, both for himself and for the hundreds of thousands with his condition. He recruited friends from Israel, his Harvard classmates and professors who together founded the American non-profit Prize4Life.

Of course, as business school students, they had to put a capitalist twist on the project (which is ironic considering Chinese communist revolutionary leader Mao Zedong is believed to have had ALS!). Kremer and crew constructed a business plan, bringing their financial acumen and innovative spirit to the project focused on how to find a cure that’s evaded scientist for 140 years.

Profile of Avichai Kremer Prize4Life Leader With ALS | Lou Gherigs Disease
Kremer operates a censor between his eyes to type on virtual keyboard. A screen for guests communicates his words.

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