Michael Jackson leads by example and shows the world that nothing should get in the way of happiness.
Born at 32 weeks gestation with spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy, Michael’s physical disability, was caused by a bleed in the brain affecting all four limbs in addition to speech and breathing issues.
But with a modified van, a power wheelchair, and a can-do attitude, Michael’s diagnosis does not define him! At 18, he is a college student, majoring in psychology. He enjoys kayaking, downhill skiing, archery, wheelchair soccer, hanging out with friends, and has a passion for water skiing.
In 2007 (at age 12), Michael was invited to speak at annual Starlight Children’s Foundation event. Since then, Michael has served as an unofficial “Ambassador of Laughter” with Starlight and is actively involved with Starbright World®, Starlight’s first-ever online social network for teens with chronic and life-threatening medical conditions, and their siblings.
While undergoing treatment at the Polinsky Rehabilitation Center in Duluth, Minnesota, USA, Michael felt that other children would enjoy the Starlight Fun Center® as much as he did - so he took action. In recognition of his community service, he became a NASCAR Foundation Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award finalist. His designated charity was Starlight and the money received in Michael’s honor was used to place five additional Fun Centers.
If you meet Michael, he invites you to: “Come say hi--get to know me--just like you would any other new friend. It shows you care and makes you a more understanding, open, and educated person. Not everyone lives the same life you do, so come learn about mine. I won’t even run over your feet with my power chair.”