The National Advocate for People with Down Syndrome Since 1979

National Down Syndrome Society
666 Broadway, 8th Floor
New York New York 10012
800-221-4602
info@ndss.org 

Michael's Victories
Michael's Victories

Michael's Great Story is all about determination. After his birth in 1961, doctors said, "He has no future. He will never walk or talk, and probably wouldn't live more than a few years." Fast forward to 1983 the doctors' bleak prediction never came true. However, Michael's happy and productive life came to a stand still after he lost the use of his legs due to bilateral hip dysplasia. Several orthopedic specialists advised, "Put him to bed, give him lots of love, he will never walk again." In 1985 Michael underwent experimental bilateral hip reconstruction that really promised nothing. After surgical events, many months in a body cast and seventeen months of five-days-a-week physical therapy Michael responded by walking, dancing and returning to Special Olympics winning yet another medal in 1987. Michael's remarkable recovery was thought to be a temporary fix that would last only a few years. Long term results were unknown at the time. Somehow, Michael managed to stretch his temporary fix to last twenty-four years. At age 48, Michael is now adapting to life in a wheelchair. Although he won't have a second miracle hip reconstruction, he doesn't intend to slow down. Whatever the obstacle, Michael's personal resolve has always helped him overcome it. Michael's life has been one of active participation in the world around him. He contributed countless hours of volunteer work at nursing homes, senior centers, food outreach programs and the National Council of Jewish Women. In 2001, the NCJW presented Michael with a Volunteer Excellence Award in recognition of his exceptional accomplishments. Prior to retiring on the Central Coast of CA with his parents, as St. Louis Arc Community Ambassador; Michael readily shared his life experiences, frequently making himself available for organizations ranging from The United Way to presentations at various college campuses. In 2009, only two years after his transition to his new life in CA, Michael was named Client of the Year by HOPE Services. Art, music and ocean life are Michael's primary interests. Four of his paintings have sold at auction with proceeds benefitting St. Louis United Way and HOPE Services of CA. The past 48 years have proven that a caring community can have a remarkable impact on the life of one person. Perhaps more importantly, it has also proven that one person, like Michael, can have a remarkable impact on a community. Michael is proud to be included in the 2010 Buddy Walk Times Square Video.




Vote for your favorite story! Each month, the two stories with the most votes will be featured in the NDSS E-Newsletter.*

Email:        


Your email address will be used for voter tracking only, and will not be used for future NDSS emails.
Click here to become a fan on Facebook.
Click here to follow us on Twitter.

*Votes will be reset at the end of each month.



Full Name
Email
Country
State
Comments (1,000 character limit)



Francine Kass, United States, GA
9/19/2014 4:49:41 AM
I think Michael Wasserman is amazing and an inspiration not only to the Down Syndrome Community, but to anyone who wants to believe they can have a better life. Nothing holds him back. He's amazo!! Although I have never me him, he is in my heart, I love him and hope to meet him one day.

Diane Grover, United States, TN
9/18/2014 11:10:54 PM
Mary, Michael and Dad Dee rock! So so grateful for each of them!

Brittani Smith, United States, UT
1/25/2012 2:40:48 AM
Mary Wasserman, Micheals mom is a huge inspiration to me. She was fighting for my daughters rights before I was even born. Now it is so easy to reach out and lift up others with kids with ds and it is because of Mary and her wonderful son

Beatrix Ivkosic, Austria,
8/31/2011 5:50:06 AM
I believe that children with downsyndrom can more than we know. I heard from somebody with downsyndrom who even could go to university for studiing. So these children just need love,love and love and help.

diane corley, United State, MO
2/7/2011 7:48:17 AM
Awesome dude!!!

Ron Baker, United States, DC
1/31/2011 10:03:45 PM
Beautiful story. Keep the faith!

Sally French, United States, CA
1/31/2011 4:17:06 PM
Michael is a true champion and a fighter. He always has a smile for everyone and his enthusiasm for life is catching. An inspiration to all of us as we find ourselves hitting barriers. If he can do it, then anyone can do it. A great friend

Betsy Rinehart, United States, MO
1/31/2011 2:25:45 PM
Good luck Mike!!

Joyce MacDonald, United States, MO
1/31/2011 1:38:11 PM
You rock, Michael!

Victoria Roos, United States, IL
1/31/2011 9:20:15 AM
Way to go Mikey!

Kenneth Klarich, United States, IL
1/31/2011 8:16:00 AM
Go Michael!

Colleen McNamara, United States, IL
1302011 10:47:37 PM
Michael you are a super hero!

alison wood, United Kingdom,
1/29/2011 4:15:00 PM
michael is a hero

jessica Buchman , United States, IN
1/27/2011 11:44:33 PM
Wonderful story! What a great person with so much Heart!

Kim Sardo , United States, CA
1/27/2011 8:22:32 PM
Michael you are an inspiration. We love you.

Geri Clarke, United States, MS
1/27/2011 7:58:13 PM
Go Michael!

Bob and Linda Gamm, United States, MO
1/27/2011 1:22:56 PM
We have been friends of Mary and Al and Michael for many years. Michael is an inspiration! Michael has the most wonderful outlook on life. He is positive and happy and caring. No matter what life throws at him he is positive, adaptive and happy!

Amy Cunningham, United States, VA
1/27/2011 6:42:44 AM
Love this!!!!

eileen, United Kingdom,
1/27/2011 1:46:11 AM
the family are an inspiration to all xxxx

Gina Favazza Rowland, United States, NH
4/8/2011 5:39:15 PM
Michael's story states beautifully that the power of will, strength and love can outdo, outwit and outlive the doctors expectations of what they ignorantly didn't understand. Michael clearly has been teaching people life's lessons in his world.

Melissa Ehrhardt, United States, NJ
1/26/2011 10:50:03 PM
Michael is a true inspiration as is Mary!

Dani & E-V, United States, CA
1/26/2011 10:48:39 PM
Michael is definitely an inspiration and so is mama Mary : )

Derek McMurtry, United States, GA
1/26/2011 10:14:33 PM
Keep on Rocking Michael!!! We love you, Abbie, Aleisha, Kathy, and Derek.

Francisca Wilhelm, United States, CA
1/26/2011 7:03:08 PM
I was able to meet Michael on 2/18/10; he is a very interesting person who has a life of a champion in many ways. His mother remains very positive with all the changes that Michael is going through these days, and they are so blessed with the wonderful

Dan Surginer, United States, CA
1/26/2011 7:00:58 PM
Michael is a joy to be around and an inspiration to those who have the privilege of knowing him.

jane lasky , United States, NV
1/26/2011 6:56:05 PM
what an inspiration.... we know that we cant let others tell us what our kids will never do and cant do.. they all have a mind of their own and can achieve so much.. even more than anyone could ever expect..awsome story..ps my little guy with d.s is 28 months old

Vicki Amsinger, United States, MO
1/26/2011 6:51:07 PM
Michael has not only achieved goals that surpassed all expectations, he has been a very active and cheerful advocate for all people who have the desire to be and do more in life. He has volunteered in a hospital setting and spoken to a wide variety of audiences

Richard C. Mintzlaff, United States, MO
1/26/2011 4:19:19 PM
I worked with Michael at St. Louis Arc for many years. He was always a joy and inspiration to work with. A year and a half ago when I was hospitalized for a couple months he created 5 get-well cards for me using his original artwork. Thank you Michael!

Cheryl Pagar, United States, CA
1/26/2011 1:16:07 PM
Great story!

Sherry Noland, United States, WV
1/26/2011 12:50:06 PM
He is such an inspiration. I love story that you have written! His determination is so wonderful!

christina lejean, United Kingdom,
1/26/2011 12:43:09 PM
michael is an inspiration to all children and adults with DS

Kris, United States, AZ
1/26/2011 11:53:09 AM
Michael and his mother are inspirations to those of us with younger children. Keep up the good work!

Floreta Bogdanescu, Romania,
1/26/2011 11:29:11 AM
Mary and Michael are our WINNERS.

Dana Howard, United States, MO
1/26/2011 10:18:00 AM
Michael has been an inspiration to many. It was a true honor to get to know Michael. Thank you for sharing your story.

Jeanne Kee, United States, TX
1/26/2011 3:46:20 AM
Michael you are also an inspiration to me, for my grandson who at age 4 shows the same deterimination, love of life,learning ans so many other things! Love your story thank you for sharing!

Nair Escobar, Argentina,
1/26/2011 3:27:45 AM
michael es un ejemplo de vida .. gracias a el y su historia las familias de niños especiales como la mía nunca se darán por vencido .. siempre creeremos que todo es posible.. como lo demostró michael...felicitaciones a el y a su familia!!!!!!! 1 1 0

cathy smith, United States, OH
1/26/2011 3:01:53 AM
Michael..you are awesome !!!!!

Kimberly s Noack, United States, NE
1/26/2011 1:05:25 AM
Michael, You are a true inspiration..Despite obstacles you have prevailed and suceeded. What a joy to read and to proudly vote for you.

Yvonne Richmond, United States, KY
1/26/2011 12:59:57 AM
Michael, your story is an amazing inspiration. The gifts you have given to the world have made a real difference and will have lasting impact. Thank you for sharing your story.

Karen Boger, United States, NC
1/25/2011 11:59:22 PM
Rock on Michael !

Elaine Passmoor , South Africa,
1/25/2011 7:40:59 PM
Michael you are a true inspiration.

Monica Crawford, United States, CA
1/25/2011 6:38:29 PM
Love this!

heather destefano, United States, AZ
1/25/2011 6:21:21 PM
Michael is a wonderful inspiration to me... As a mom of a young son who has Down Syndrome people like Michael inspire me & show me how my son can grow up and have a wonderful life..

Bert Haier, United States, MO
1/25/2011 5:06:42 PM
Michael is a True Hero!

Kim Detjen, United Kingdom,
1/25/2011 4:10:48 PM
Michael is an inspiration to me on a daily basis. He has such determination and a fantastic outlook on life. He has made an impact on more lives than he will ever know. I feel fortunate to have met him and to know his story

Geri Clarke, United States, MS
1/25/2011 3:53:51 PM
Michael is a True Hero!

Athan Miller, United States, CO
1/25/2011 2:55:23 PM
Michael has changed my life in more ways than anyone can imagine. Michael, you are my hero! 0 1 0

kathy ingram, United States, GA
1/25/2011 1:35:56 PM
Micheal, you are a superhero.

Mark A. Keeley , United States, MO
1/25/2011 11:17:30 AM
Michael continues to serve as an inspiration to me on a daily basis. Despite all the personal challenges life has thrown at him, he greets each day with a smile and determination to make the most of it. He is the most wonderful person I have ever met.

Jan, United States, NV
08/12/2012 02:39:21
Great story - some of the young kids participating are adorable and have great potential, but haven't yet done anything due to their age. However, Michael has led an admirable life by any standards and sounds like a wonderful man!

  • Buddy Walk
  • NDSS Yourway
  • My Great Story
  • NDSS DS-Ambassadors