The father of invention: KC designers hope to help make amputees more mobile with Kickstarter plan

KANAS CITY, Mo. - When some people see a problem, they complain. When Max and Liliana Younger see a problem, they invent.

"Many millions of people have to use crutches at some point in their lives," said Liliana. "We want them to remember that, 'If I fall 10 years from now, I hope this is out there as an option.' But we really also want them to be engaged with causes for people who use crutches every day."

People like war veterans, accident survivors and, most important to inventor Max, his father Dan who underwent half a dozen knee operations before surgeons amputated his lower leg.

"You see what strain on his wrists and the bruising that happens in his ribcage because he uses his crutches in the typical Civil War era crutches," said Max. "I can't believe in today's age, something hasn't been designed better than the Civil War era technology. It's ridiculous."

Enter the M+D Crutch. It's the duo's first creation together since opening their own industrial design firm, Mobility Designed.

"My dad was definitely an integral part of this," said Max. "He's been our go-to guinea pig on testing all our prototypes. You know, using them and trying them and breaking them and allowing us to iterate in a way that was more organic and natural and build it so it was something he and people like him can also use."

Now that the husband-wife industrial design team just finished their final prototype, they've gone to Kickstarter to help raise the funds for mass production.

"I hope it makes it so they don't think about that so much," said Liliana. "If they want to go out for a hike or go out to the zoo with their family, it's kind of a pain to even think about walking five miles. On crutches, you don't do that. We hope that by using our crutches it's not a limitation."

Proving that necessity really is the father of invention, especially when it's your father who's in need.

The designers also partnered with non-profit organizations. Donors can contribute money to their Kickstarter that will then go to organizations helping veterans, amputees and survivors of traumatic injury.

Visit the M+D Crutch Kickstarter page for more information.


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