On the outside, Jacob looks like any other 14-year-old. He plays baseball, practices the drums and loves to play with his pet hamster, Jamal. But on the inside, a Dacron tube holds Jacob’s aorta together in order to keep his heart pumping strong. This treatment for his rare heart condition, coarctation (a disconnect of the aorta), has earned Jacob the nickname: The Bionic Boy, from his family. It has also inspired him to raise awareness about heart health.
“High blood pressure was the only symptom I had and if it had gone undetected I could have died,” Jacob explains. “That’s why I want everyone to get their blood pressure checked.”
Jacob has turned his Nike Air Max 95 into a public service announcement of the most creative kind. The tongue reminds you to CHECK YOUR BP,” accompanied by a heart made out of Jacob’s thumbprint. “I was thinking that it could help a lot of people,” he says.
Other cool features in Jacob’s design include a circuit-board pattern (since he’s bionic, after all), a heart graphic under the heel and a proclamation: I WALK TO MY OWN BEAT on the sockliner. As for the red and blue palette, that’s a nod to Jacob’s favorite superhero: Spider-Man.
“Spider-Man does the right thing, no matter what. I ...