It’s not every day that we meet superheroes, but yes, there are people who in spite of their constraints, manage to dream sky-high!
Born as a very ordinary child in New Jersey, USA, Mike Oliveri had dreams to fulfill and he felt a need to be accepted in the eyes of the world. Like every kid, he too loved playing outside and live life to the fullest. At the tender age of six, his life took a big U-turn. Mike was diagnosed with a rare condition known as ‘muscular dystrophy’, a progressive skeletal muscle disease.
His life had hit a rough patch! His illness affected him both mentally and physically. Nevertheless, in spite of all the continuous and excruciating treatments, he never let his condition get in the way of him staying active. The older he got, the weaker his body grew. At a very small age, he was psychologically shattered, and soon was forced to be wheel-chair bound. Doctors gave up on him and said he would not live to see his 26th birthday.
However, today, he is 28; his weakness couldn’t overpower his courage and positive outlook about life. He understood life was not about giving up and surrendering so soon. Unlike anyone who would fall into pieces, he took the optimistic approach to keep calm in this emotional storm. He believed his illness was a gift.
He stopped feeling sorry for himself, appreciated what he had, and stopped whining about what was not under his control. He began traveling, and discovered his love for zip lining, driving, parachute jumping and sky diving, wherein he even broke a world record of diving from 9250 meters. This so called ‘differently-abled person’ has done everything what an ‘abled person’ would think twice to do.
In 2007, his life’s most important goal of going on a zero gravity flight was accomplished. Slowly his achievements made him believe that he was no more a disabled person and he has set an example for many people today!
Today, he is a world traveler, a promoter for disability rights, a motivational speaker, a world record holder, a supporter for alternative medicine, a great friend and an inspiration to many. We salute his ‘never give up attitude!’
For us, he is truly a unique differently-abled person! Don’t you agree?
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