Jack Kellerman is the inventor of ZIP QUICKER. Jack is a lifelong entrepreneur who has been battling MS for the last 25 years. Having been a kitchen designer for 30 years, he had to retire due to his illness. After being confined to a hospital bed for 3 years, he came to the realization that although his body was failing him, his mind was not. He hired a virtual assistant to help him with his endeavor to bring Zip Quicker to market.
New Roads native Jack Kellerman once feared a multiple sclerosis diagnosis at age 30 meant his life was almost over.
Nearly 25 years later, he’s busier than ever.
Kellerman, 54, patented a device that can help nearly every household across the world.
He developed The Zip Quicker, which makes for an easier – and much neater – process of putting foods and liquids into a Ziploc bag.
I was asking God what my future would be. Would I be able to work or take care of my family?” Kellerman said.
He sustained a few spells over the next 10 years, but always bounced back.
The situation changed. He went from walking with use of a cane to using a wheelchair, to ultimately being bedridden for the past three years.
He has not left the house in two years, and that was for the wedding of his daughter Yvonne, who got married at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in New Roads.
“I have not left my house since then,” he said. “They push me on the back porch, into the living room, but it’s just too much trouble to get me in the wheelchair, and the (wheelchair) is too painful for me sitting. I’m best off staying in the bed.”
Kellerman said he is all but paralyzed, although he still has limited use of his right arm and hand.
That, too, has become a challenge, he said. But he said he has a great coach at his side.
“My wife, Suzanne, reminds me that we’re all in this together,” Kellerman said. “She’s truly one in a million.”
“We’re in this together – Suzanne and the five kids stepped up to help me, plus I have a lot of people praying for me,” he said. “That’s truly the only way we’re getting through this.
“We have one hell of a support group here,” Kellerman said.
Amid the seemingly hopeless situation, he grasped onto the proverbial “ounce of hope.”
That ounce of hope was technology. From his bed, he googled “overseas virtual assistant” and hired an online helper from the Philippines.
“I work five days a week on a Zoom call with my virtual assistant,” Kellerman said.
Daily communication with a virtual assistant in the Philippines may seem far-reaching enough, but it does not stop there.
His patent application was prepared in Pakistan. The drawings for the invention were created in Saudi Arabia and the logo was designed in Germany.
Some work on the website was done in Bangladesh, Kellerman said. “It’s so cool to be able to do all of this.”
It’s a long way from the days of despair and wondering what he would do for the rest of his life.
“It is almost like an epiphany,” he said. “Although my body is failing me, my mind is not.”
The invention has brought Kellerman a new sense of hope. It puts a smile on his face when he sees the number of orders on the website.
He also gets a morale boost from the people who send messages about how much they enjoy it and how they are telling all their friends about it.
“I love it because it connects me with people and says I’m doing something productive, Kellerman said, “It’s not only with the business associates all over the world, but also with customers nationwide.
“Technology is beautiful,” he said. Kellerman said he sees no reason to feel bitter despite his condition. I have more blessing than should be allowed,” he said.
“Instead of complaining about my situation, I decided to go another direction and do something productive.” Kellerman said. “It is what it is, and I had to deal with it to move on.
He said he hopes technology can play a role in a cure for MS.
Kellerman said his condition is too extensive, but he hopes it can help with future patients.
As for now, he is enjoying life more than he ever has.
“I’ve had more blessings than I should be allowed,” Kellerman said. “Life handed me lemons, and now I’m putting those lemons in the Zip Quicker.”