May 20, 2021
The unexpected twin brother of actor Christopher “Ashton” Kutcher, Michael met his first of many challenges at birth. Entering the world notably smaller than his twin at less than five pounds, Michael was hardly responsive and struggled to take his first breath.
Thanks to outstanding medical care and his instinct to survive, Michael pulled through his first days and weeks, although not without lasting adverse effects. By age three, Michael was battling significant developmental delays and was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy before entering Kindergarten.
Throughout his childhood, Michael’s innate desire to thrive helped him overcome issues with eyesight, speech, and motor skill development. Michael grew up in a loving and supportive family that taught him the value of the health he did have and to make the best of his circumstances.
Unfortunately, Michael’s uphill battle was only getting started. Diagnosed with heart failure at age 13, Michael was once again faced with an unthinkable challenge of survival. After being given a life expectancy of just three to four weeks, Michael again defeated the odds and successfully received a life-saving heart transplant. It was this second close brush with death that opened Michael’s eyes to the fragility of life and inspired him to take control of the future he once thought he wouldn’t have.
Michael graduated from Clear Creek Amana High School in 1996 and later continued his education, earning his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and Finance from Mount Mercy University.
His medical triumphs and perspective on Cerebral Palsy have led him to work directly with The Cerebral Palsy Foundation and Donate Life as an advocate and public speaker. His determination and passion have even brought him as far as Capitol Hill in Washington D.C., where Michael has raised awareness for local and national fundraising initiatives. Michael has also brought his profound story and message to the Center for Disease Control and the National Institute of Health.
When he’s not advocating for Disability and Organ Donation awareness, Michael is inspiring audiences around the nation. Michael resides in Denver, Colorado, where he’s built a successful career with Transamerica Retirement Solutions. In his free time, Michael enjoys spending time with his family, traveling and playing golf. Michael’s message is one of inspiration, hope and appreciation. Michael teaches people how to turn their obstacles into opportunities and to embrace “Diffabilities” versus our “Disabilities.
JONES.SHOW is a weekly podcast featuring host Randall Kenneth Jones (author, speaker & creative communications consultant) and Susan C. Bennett (the original voice of Siri).
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