The Man Who Dared to SEE AGAIN!
Mike May - his Wife, two boys and every faithful Guide Dog
"To dare is to lose one's footing momentarily. Not to dare is to lose oneself."
- Søren Kierkegaard
Mike May was totally blinded at age three from an explosion of calcium carbide. He grew up believing he was lucky to be blind and still alive. Today Mike is a leader in the field of advancing technology and mobility for the independence of the visually impaired and blind. Mike's personal life and professional career have been characterized by pioneering efforts in business and community service.
Mike is at the forefront of technology for the disabled in his leadership of the development of location information literacy. To further the efforts of his causes and ventures, Mike May has generated media to millions of viewers and met numerous celebrities including meeting four U.S. Presidents. Mike was acknowledged at the White House by Ronald Reagan after competing in the Paralympics and earning the downhill skiing world record of 65MPH at the 1984 Sarajevo Winter Olympics. "Mike, you and the other competitors here are testimony to all young people that they should never be afraid to dream big dreams and they should never hesitate to try to make those dreams a reality"
The single most outstanding aspect of Mike May's unique contribution to improving the quality of life for people with disabilities is his character. It is said that adversity builds character. Mike takes that statement a step further by allowing his character to conquer adversity. He has many qualities that exemplify him as a leader.
- Mike is a 'can-do' person, from raising millions of dollars in starting four high-tech companies to setting up blind ski programs in 10 countries and 15 states.
- As a writer, lecturer, mentor, and luminary, Mike has been a major force in moving Americans toward more practical and realistic views about people with disabilities. In one year alone over 40 million people saw or heard about Mike and his programs through media like ABC Wide World of Sports, NBC Dateline, Discover and Readers Digest Magazines. Over 70 million people have so far seen his documentary on BBC TV and interview on World Service.
- Mike is a people person. His love for travel is buoyed by his genuine love for people and the opportunities that travel affords him to continue to meet new people and to learn about how they live.
- Mike also has a profound sense of adventure. He underwent a rare stem cell transplant despite a 50% chance of success or failure and became one of a handful of documented cases of vision restoration in the past 200 years.
Read Mike's Story - You'll be glad you did. Guaranteed.
"Crashing Through - A true Story of Risk, Adventure, and the Man Who Dared to See," a book by Robert Kurson from Random House. Released May 15, 2007.
Go to Amazon.com to purchase Crashing Through
About Crashing Through
In his critically acclaimed bestseller Shadow Divers, Robert Kurson explored the depths of history, friendship, and compulsion. Now Kurson returns with another thrilling adventure - the stunning true story of one man's heroic odyssey from blindness into sight.
Mike May spent his life crashing through. Blinded at age three, he defied expectations by breaking world records in downhill speed skiing, joining the CIA, and becoming a successful inventor, entrepreneur, and family man. He had never yearned for vision.
Then, in 1999, a chance encounter brought startling news: a revolutionary stem cell transplant surgery could restore May's vision. It would allow him to drive, to read, to see his children's faces. He began to contemplate an astonishing new world: Would music still sound the same? Would sex be different? Would he recognize himself in the mirror? Would his marriage survive? Would he still be Mike May?
The procedure was filled with risks, some of them deadly, others beyond May's wildest dreams. Even if the surgery worked, history was against him. Fewer than twenty cases were known worldwide in which a person gained vision after a lifetime of blindness. Each of those people suffered desperate consequences we can scarcely imagine.
There were countless reasons for May to pass on vision. He could think of only a single reason to go forward. Whatever his decision, he knew it would change his life.
Beautifully written and thrillingly told, Crashing Through is a journey of suspense, daring, romance, and insight into the mysteries of vision and the brain. Robert Kurson gives us a fascinating account of one man's choice to explore what it means to see, and to truly live.