Michael was born two months premature and suffered severe brain damage. Doctors said that he would never walk, talk or live a normal life and they, and others, suggested Michael be institutionalized. Michael's father, Jim, believed that little Michael could inspire others and live a productive, functional life. Years of therapy and long days with many volunteers who helped Michael with a variety of therapies caused Michael’s mother to abandon him and his brother. Jim stayed positive and was living a "can-do" lifestyle with Michael. Michael asked his dad if he could do races like his father and brother. Michael participated in his first 5k at the age of 5, being pushed by Jim.
Today, Michael is 25, has graduated high school and is active in his community. He volunteers at the local police department, works at a hockey arena, and helps to fundraise for various organizations including Shriner’s Children’s Hospitals, Best Buddies, Canine Companions and Make a Wish by participating in 5K runs, bicycle rides and other activities. Most recently, Michael became the President of his own organization @specialcompass. He cannot physically do marathon events on his own, so athletes such as Jim and his PT, Guy, are his “wheels,” -- pushing him. Pictured above is Michael and Guy at the Optime 5k in Sunrise, FL!