In 2007, while stationed with the U.S. Coast Guard in Detroit, Electrician’s Third Mate Michael Bell suffered a massive stroke, rendering the entire right side of his body paralyzed. He spent the next 18 months rehabilitating, relearning how to walk, talk, eat, and do many other routine activities. The support from doctors, therapists, and other injured veterans encouraged him to go back to school for a Masters Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling and dedicate his civilian profession to helping others.
Even after a stroke forever changed his life, bell maintains an uplifting attitude fueled by the Coast Guard motto, “Always Ready.” This motto served as the inspiration for his personal motto, “Adapt & Overcome.” This shirt represents the power beel now feels when racing his bike to benefit others.
Bell’s boot design is inspired by one of his favorite boat shoes. He tied in the Coast Guard motto, “Always Ready,” and added a zipper to enable him to put his boots on despite the physical disabilities caused by his stroke.
Seth Herman is an independent, multidisciplinary designer living in Grand Rapids. His portfolio includes work for the Madcap Coffee Company, Casemate, and Reebok.