Tony Stark Isn’t the Only Iron Man

March 15, 2015 0 By Laura Cerrone

When Robert Downey Jr. visited a young boy and bestowed to him an Iron Man prosthetic arm, the world collectively swooned. Rightly so. It was a beautiful sentiment and the technology is on par with Tony Stark’s super suits. But the little boy isn’t the only person sporting a new Iron Man prosthetic this week.

Gaining traction on Reddit and also a post by Gracie Orlie on her Tumblr, Michael Orlie, Gracie’s father received his new prosthetic leg, decked out in shiny red, gold, and even featuring an arc reactor – just like Iron Man. The Texas family has a few wishes they hope will be fulfilled by posting it online.

We chatted with Gracie and Michael about the new leg, how the leg gives Michael strength and why Iron Man and Robert Downey Jr. are so important to their family.

Gracie's Tumblr Post

Gracie’s Tumblr post. Click to enlarge.


Whose idea was it to design your father’s prosthetic?

Gracie: Mine, we both love Iron man and the Marvel Universe. The design was also very fitting for him; he handles his disability so well no matter what setbacks it may have so he has kind of become a bit of an Iron Man for me and my family.

How long has he had his Iron Man leg?

Gracie: About a week.


To your knowledge how was the design created?

Gracie: The design was created by the artist at Scott Sabolich Prosthetics, based on the Iron Man suit.

How did the post get popular on Reddit?

Gracie: My cousin saw the picture my dad posted on Facebook and decided to post it on Reddit.


When you posted the message and images on Tumblr, now a growing viral post, what were you hoping would happen?

Gracie: I was really just hoping people could see it and enjoy it as much as my dad has.

Why did you decide to make the post?

Gracie: So that people could enjoy it and maybe someone from Marvel might see and get a kick out of it as much as we have

You mentioned he didn’t get his Make-A-Wish when he went through his bout with cancer as a teenager, what was his wish?

Gracie: His wish was to go on the set of Magnum, P.I. in Hawaii (He was 16 when he had cancer in 1987-88) and meet Tom Selleck who played Magnum. But his dad didn’t want him to do it.

Is meeting Robert Downey Jr. his new wish? What would it mean for you to meet RDJ?

Michael: My wish would be to meet Robert Downey Jr. AND go to a Marvel movie premiere; I actually have a lot in common with him. He’s in recovery from alcohol addiction and so am I.

Gracie: It would be amazing for me and my family to get to see my dad meet RDJ, and it would mean the world to us and him.

Is Iron Man your dad’s favorite superhero?

Michael: Definitely… for one the suit is amazing…but more than that the suit is a great analogy for life and recovery…when the suit is on he is strong and protected but in reality he is still a man inside the suit that has to take it off at the end of the day…much like I’ve worn a different suit to try to cover problems in my life. Does that make sense?

michael orlie's iron man leg

All images courtesy of Gracie Orlie.