Michael was born June 2, 1999 to Shawn and Shelley Carlson. His little sister Jane came along a few years later.
Michael grew into a man who enjoyed working with his hands, being outdoors, hunting, fishing, cross country skiing and other sports. Michael was a captain both his Junior and Senior year for one of the most physically demanding high school sports, Nordic Skiing. In addition, leading his team as a captain, Michael competed both Junior and Senior year at the State Competition.
December 29, 2020
Happy holidays to everyone!
I, Michael and the entire family are extremely humbled by all of your generous donations and kindness that you all have shown over the last two years since my injury. From friends to family to complete strangers, it has blown us away. I don’t even know how to put into words what it means to me and my family.
There’s no way that I could be where I am today without the incredible generosity and love of every person who has donated, either here on Help Hope Live or directly to us, as well as your prayers and gifts in kind.
Although this has been an especially trying year for all of us, it has also been a time where people have risen to the challenges, and have served, connected, and loved in ways we never thought possible. We are incredibly grateful for the support we have received, both before and during the pandemic.
We have been overwhelmed navigating Michael’s care in the past two years and feel an update is long overdue.
Foremost, thank you for all the donations and prayers that you have given to support Michael.
Since our last update:
Spinal cord injury rehabilitation is an incredibly slow process. We have had many victories, though at times it can feel like we take two steps forward and two steps back. He has strengthened a lot of muscle groups, and has worked so hard to adapt to his limitations, and find different ways to do the tasks that we do so easily. Thanks to his very strong father Shawn and other family and friends, as well as Michael’s determination, he has been able to enjoy summer and ice fishing, and visits with friends. Both his physical training and excursions like these have helped him develop strength and control in his hands. Although Michael is still paralyzed from the chest down and has only very limited use of his arms, his torso is getting stronger, which makes it easier to transfer in and out of the car.
These improvements are only possible through the ongoing therapy and physical training he receives.
Donations have paid for therapies, home modifications, medical equipment, and numerous other medical/physical related expenses.
As of today $39,000 has been raised. Where did that $39,000 go?
– ABLE program at Courage Kenny
– Fit For Recovery – with trainer Josh Nix.
– Although not the $20,000 rotating bed we initially wanted, we were able to get a $5,000 adjustable bed and hybrid mattress (partly through a gift in kind).
Through insurance, we were able to get a manual wheelchair as well as a power chair.
What are the current needs, as of December, 2020?
We still do need a wheelchair-accessible van, but currently need to put that on hold because of high ongoing expenses with the ABLE program at Courage Kenny and physical training with Fit for Recovery. We started with 4 days/week in the ABLE program which is optimal, but have had to drop to 2 days a week due to tight finances. Even cutting costs as much as we can, these needs add up to $4,800/month.
These are not optional expenses—this is Michael’s new normal. The care he is receiving now is life sustaining. With the ABLE program, if payment is interrupted even for a short time, Michael will lose his spot in the program and have to go back onto a long waiting list. In addition, 2 days per week of Fit for Recovery is barely enough for maintenance… for Michael to improve, he really needs a 3rd day per week, which adds another $600/month.
To help you connect with where your donation is going, we have introduced a Fund a Need event found on this Help Hope Live page, along with a flyer that you can email to friends, family, co-workers and companies, as well as post on social networks. As always, your donations are fully tax deductible, and many people and companies at this time of year are looking for tax write-offs before their year end.
PLEASE NOTE: all donations to Help Hope Live must be clearly identified as being “In honor of Michael Steven Carlson.”
We pray you have a wonderful Christmas and holiday with your friends and family. We hope to give more frequent updates, and have included some photos of Michael to this page. Thank you again for your continued support to Help Hope Live in Michael Steven Carlson’s honor.