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How One Father Built His Son A Hand — And Now Does It For Other Kids

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Michael and Carter Campos

Greetings, Heroes!

I’m coming to you from sunny Cancun, Mexico. Here for Spring Break… just kidding.

I’m with the family and letting the kids get some energy out. All while I slip an adult beverage in here and there.​

This week, I’m featuring Michael Campos, his son, Carter, and their organization, Claws from Carter.

If you haven’t heard of them yet, you will find their story heart-warming and beautiful.

Before we get to their story, though, let me issue my challenge to you. Pay for someone after you in line. Whether it’s a line you’re standing in, a toll booth (who doesn’t use EZPass?), or Starbucks drive thru.

Who knows … maybe you will spark a mini movement of your own and others will pay it forward (or is it backward in this case)?

Be heroic,


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Hero Story Feature: Claws from Carter

Imagine what it would be like being born without a hand.

When we think of taking things for granted, we often don’t even consider our limbs.

But, for Carter Campos, it was a reality. He was born with a congenital below-the-elbow amputation and his parents knew it at the 12-week sonogram.

As a parent of two young children, I can only imagine what Michael Campos and his wife were thinking. What would this mean for their little Carter?

Kids are resilient though.

Carter was a determined little guy. He didn’t let this issue affect him.

In fact, his situation sparked a movement for the Campos family to help others just like Carter.

And it all started with a question from young Carter himself:

“Daddy will you build me a hand?”

Admittedly, Michael “felt so helpless not being able to do it at the time and promised him that one day I’d be able to make one.” Carter’s father kept his word.

Within a month, though, Michael made it happen. With the help of e-NABLE, Michael was able to provide Carter with a “prosthetic 3D printed for Carter that cost only $10 to build.” The e-NABLE Community is actually a worldwide group of people who use “their 3D printers to create free 3D printed hands and arms for those in need of an upper limb assistive device.”

Carter’s dad came through. Little Carter had his hand. “No words can describe the feeling of being able to fulfill his request,” Michael said in StoryTrender. “It was extremely satisfying and the skill has changed my life.”

Asked what it means to be able to do this for Carter, Michael said:

“Honestly, I’m just a Dad trying to do right by his son. It’s as simple as that. Carter is my oldest son, and I am doing this in his name. I want to give him all tools possible, should he choose to use them. The cool thing about this is that whatever benefits Carter, can benefit others.”

One boy’s request started a movement for other kids the world over. Since then, with their organization Claws From Carter, Michael estimates they’ve helped one or two dozen children get 3D printed hands and arms.

The first was another child named Carter. Michael’s response is moving:

“I will definitely always remember our first recipient. On top of that, Carter Hayes has the same first name as my son Carter, and his middle name is Michael, which is my name. I don’t find that to be a coincidence. I believe there is some kind of greater meaning behind that.”

Now, remember, these are little boys and girls. So, what kind of hands do they want?

Iron Man and robot hands of course! Michael told me he even hears kids say, “I wish I was missing a hand so I could get a robot hand.”

As a personal aside, while the kids may want the robot hand, I’m more partial to the beer fist. Then again, I’d also take something that could help me throw as fast as Henry Rowengartner from Rookie of the Year. Priorities, right?

Anyway, back to our heroes. So, how’s Carter doing today? Michael told me:

“Carter is doing great. The kid is a champ. He’s looking forward the improved hand that U.C. Berkley and I have been working on for him. Although Carter doesn’t need a helper hand, I think it is important that he be given the opportunity to use one should he choose to do so.”

Truly heroic all around. From the children like Carter who don’t let circumstances they can’t change keep them down to the father who helped so many others by first helping his own son. This is why it’s important to highlight these real stories.

I’ll let Michael bring it home:

“While helping Carter is priority number one, I think it is awesome that we can help others along the way. Every tool that Carter receives should be available to others, that’s the way I look at it.”

Make sure to check out Michael and Carter’s story – and donate to support their cause – at ClawsFromCarter.org.