Women Vets Never Give Up Being Who They Are, and Neither Should You!

Western Reserve Orthotics & Prosthetics Centre, Inc.

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Owner's Story


Richard Grope's Story

One day, while working in a large machine shop, my world seemed to instantly crumble. A 3,000-pound piece of steel fell on my foot. Suddenly, a baseball tryout didn't seem to matter much. I was now fighting to save my leg.

For the next three years, I experienced 6 surgeries and an amazing amount of pain in what would be a vain attempt at what I considered at the time, to remain whole. My right leg was amputated in 1978 at the age of 24.


Rick Grope Holding Prosthetics

Within a few months after my amputation, I was playing baseball again. In fact, I discovered that my life was going on. I had to make a choice either to live my life normally or to be looked upon as a handicapped individual who needed help and expected pity from the rest of the world. I chose to live as if nothing ever happened.

I went to school for Accounting. I very quickly decided that wasn't for me and switched my major to Architecture. During my studies, I was often asked to speak to both individuals and groups about how I dealt with the injury and eventual amputation. It was at this point I was asked to consider a career in Prosthetics. I said no for the next 5 years thinking there was something else that was perfectly suited for me. I still continued to speak about life with a prosthesis and felt good whenever I helped someone who was about to go through what I experienced. Finally, after 5 years of talking with individuals and speaking to groups, I decided it was time to make this a career, and the trip eventually led to the founding of Western Reserve O&P.