A couple years ago I was asked by Forge Worldwide, an agency based in Boston, MA, to photograph a man who had lost 2 legs and a hand in a terrible car accident on Storrow drive. His name is Muji Karim. Muji had completed his physical therapy at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital and had become quite the poster boy. Now fitted with prosthetic legs and hand Muji was running on a treadmill, working his balance with medicine balls and constantly impressing his physical therapists. Now that he had finished his full time therapy, Spaulding wanted to use his face as a true example of success and inspiration. Little did they know at the time, he would become a vital example of hope for so many people around Boston following a terrible event.
I was given the honor of spending the day with Muji during a commercial video shoot. My job was to pop in once and a while and capture stills for their digital marketing campaigns. Throughout the day I would witness true greatness. Muji blew me away with his work on the treadmill and skill drills. This was clearly a challenge for him but challenge seemed like second nature. We built a strong and quick friendship throughout the day and captured some great images that are still some of my favorites to this day.
A little less than a year later Boston was devastated by a bombing at the Boston marathon leaving many victims with amputated legs and hands. They too would endure rigorous workouts and work on their new prosthetics at Spaulding Rehab. Luckily they had an example and sign of hope. I was not surpised to read in the paper that a fearless survivor named Muji was visiting the bombing victims. Muji had told me that it was now his goal in life to help others in similar situations. I know his example and story must have helped someone and he is fulfilling his dream. Muji is a true inspiration and one of the reasons I do what I do. The power of his story and the images of strength we were able to capture on that day still sit in my mind almost ever day.
Yesterday I ran 14 miles in preparation for my first Boston Marathon. On marathon Monday I know there are 2 images that will repeat in my head throughout the grueling course and empower me never to stop. First, I will picture Muji enduring the treadmill with his 2 new prosthetic legs and hand, which you can see above. Second, something I was lucky enough to witness in person, his smile. Muji never stopped smiling during the long shoot and I bet he is still smiling today.