Given that I have ALS and expect to be in a wheelchair soon, Mitch Sturgeon’s book, Enjoying the Ride, was inspiring.
At the age of 35, Mitch’s mother broke her neck and was paralyzed. The family, which lived in Lincoln, Maine, was told she would not live long, but she lived another 35 years, and was amazingly positive, always focused on her kids.
The first part of the book focuses on Mitch’s Mom (he was very young when his mother was disabled). And that could have been the entire book.
But amazingly, when he was 35, Mitch was diagnosed with primary progressive multiple sclerosis, a very disabling form of MS. And that’s when his inspiring story begins.
Mitch’s wife Kim is a remarkable woman, and he is also lucky to be in a loving family. Mitch and I are both lucky to have amazing wives, and he and I also share a determination to remain positive and upbeat, and to enjoy every day.
As his illness progressed, and he ended up in a wheelchair, I was impressed that he and Kim did not allow that to dominate their lives. They even went on trips out of the country, including a Caribbean cruise. And he purchased a wheelchair that could even climb stairs.
Of course, as I have, he discovered places advertised as handicapped accessible that were not, but he and Kim made do. I particularly enjoyed Mitch’s sense of humor.
In addition to reading his book, you should check out his blog, enjoyingtheride.com. Yes, writing is something else Mitch and I have in common. After his diagnosis, Mitch became a writer, starting his blog and writing for Down East Magazine and a variety of disability journals and websites.
Mitch and Kim live in South Portland. If you see him out and about, let him know he is inspiring lots of people!