It’s National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month and we are thrilled to share the amazing story of Michael Kutcher, a truly remarkable advisor at Joshin. Michael’s message is one of inspiration, hope, and appreciation. Having overcome unthinkable challenges against extraordinary odds, Michael is living proof that perseverance and unwavering positivity can surmount even the most seemingly impossible of obstacles.
Born an unexpected and underweight twin, Michael faced the first of several life-threatening circumstances before he took his first breath. Thanks to both outstanding medical care and his indomitable instinct to survive, Michael survived his first days and weeks, although not without lasting adverse effects. Due to irreversible neurological deficiencies, Michael was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy before entering Kindergarten. He also had a life-saving heart transplant as a teenager as a result of heart failure brought on by a virus. 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’s story is profound. He has lived the successes and reached life milestones that many didn’t think he ever could. His experiences and perspective on Cerebral Palsy and organ donation have led him to work directly with Reaching for the Stars, A Foundation of Hope for Children with Cerebral Palsy and the Be the Gift donor registration campaign as an advocate and public speaker. Kutcher is also a spokesperson and advisor for Cerebral Palsy Foundation. When he’s not advocating or inspiring audiences around the nation as an inspiring speaker, Michael resides in Denver, Colorado, where he’s built a successful career as an Assistant Vice President for Transamerica. In his free time, Michael enjoys spending time with his family, traveling and playing golf.
We asked Michael, “What do you see as the biggest challenge in the disability space”?
That’s an interesting question, because I feel that answer differs based on your personal perspective. So let me answer it from my personal perspective. I believe the disability community is lacking exposure and acceptance, and unfortunately the two may be linked. Exposure because I don’t believe the disability community is truly recognized. I feel when we talk about diversity, whether it be in society, the work place , or various circles, disability doesn’t get the attention as much as some other diversity groups. All diversities are deserving of recognition. Perhaps if the special needs community was recognized more there would be more of a social acceptance. Acceptance in my mind isn’t just the recognition of individuals, but it’s the understanding that individuals with special needs can be successful. We all have differences, which I call diffabilities, why are my differences any more different than yours, there not? We all have challenges we have to personally overcome or work with, some individuals challenges may require more work.
As a Joshin advisor, Michael brings this amazing and unique point of view along with his incredible story. At Joshin, he actively participates in discussions regarding the community and needs that Joshin can meet through its technology. We thank Michael for all he does in the world and how instrumental he continues to be as Joshin grows nationwide.