Mike was a Captain in the United States Marine Corps, stationed in Beaufort, SC, pilotting F-18s. That was nearly a decade ago. In January of 2008, he was in a horrible snowboarding accident during a company exercise that left him in a coma for two months. He spent the next two YEARS of his life in a hospital, suffering from traumatic brain injury.
Upon release, he was in a wheelchair for 2 years, then spent 3 years walking with a cane. He gradually began to see improvement and no longer needed the cane as of September 2016. He now has an ankle/tibia brace for his leg to assist in his movement.
When he joined Powerhouse, Mike started to work out with a personal trainer, John Duberly (a fellow veteran), and has made such vast improvements that his leg brace no longer supports his movements. His trainer said, "his new brace just isn't caught up to his new body mobility and strength." Speaking of strength, Mike put on 6lbs of muscle in just two months. That is an incredible feat for anyone, including athletes!
So why are we here? We want to get Mike a new leg brace that can withstand Mike's progress and his workouts. Oh, and did I mention that Mike has a little one? A beautiful 3 year-old daughter! We'd love for him to be able to play with his kid more, wouldn't you? Mike's wife and doctor are privy to this fundraiser, but Mike isn't, so keep it hush hush.
Mike can't drive either, he takes a taxi to and from the gym 3 times a week to make his workouts. Any extra money raised would go towards transportation for Mike. He has more dedication and spirit than anyone we have ever seen in this gym, and we are going to do everything we can to make his goals a reality.
- Heather Merritt
- Sammy/Deb Otwell
- Shannon Stone
- Debbie Andrews
Organizer and beneficiary
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