Quadriplegic Man Defied the Odds, Continues to Inspire

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In honor of National Disability Awareness Month, personal development coach and photographer, Laura Young, launches a line of products inspired by Michael Schwass. Schwass, the first quadriplegic to walk again without the aid of braces, will be the recipient of all proceeds.

Michael Schwass

Michael is arguably the single most influential person in my life. His grace, dignity and strength of character are astounding. Through the example he has set while enduring great suffering, he has absolutely inspired me to become a better person. I owe him a debt of gratitude. I created my book, All Is Well, to honor him in recognition of the principles he has taught me to live by.

Michael Schwass was a star high school athlete with dreams of playing professional hockey when an injury during a championship series left him paralyzed. While his team went on to win the Illinois State Championship, Michael channeled his indomitable spirit into achieving the impossible. Befriended and encouraged by Chicago Blackhawks great, Keith Magnuson, Schwass overcame incredible odds, ultimately becoming the first quadriplegic to walk again without the aid of braces.

Thirty-three years later, Schwass continues to surpass expectations, surviving well past his anticipated lifespan. His autobiography, Don't Blame the Game, outlines the principles he employs to maintain his motivation and focus. He has gone on to inspire disabled and able-bodied alike as a motivational speaker, therapist, and life coach.

In honor of National Disability Awareness Month, fellow life coach and photographer, Laura Young, has created a line of products inspired by Schwass.

"Michael is arguably the single most influential person in my life. His grace, dignity and strength of character are astounding. Through the example he has set while enduring great suffering, he has absolutely inspired me to become a better person. I owe him a debt of gratitude. I created my book, All Is Well, to honor him in recognition of the principles he has taught me to live by."

All profits from All Is Well and the All is Well Collection of photography prints and cards which accompany them have been designated by Young to benefit Schwass for his ongoing medical care.

"People don't realize what it takes just to get him out of the house every day," says Young. "Not only is Michael supporting himself and paying outrageous health care costs but he has a staff of seven working behind the scenes doing everything from helping him set up speaking engagements and managing his office to making sure he can get in to bed at night and dressed in the morning."

"He has done such a great service in challenging beliefs about what is possible with a spinal cord injury. It took him six years of fierce dedication to take that first step. I think it is important that we recognize and honor that contribution. I would love to see a show of support for his ongoing challenges especially this month as we try to raise awareness of the needs of disabled everywhere."

Further information on Michael Schwass is available at http://www.dontblamethegame.com. Learn more about Laura Young's coaching services and gallery offerings by visiting her site, No Safe Distance.

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