GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.,-- Life as 17-year-old Luke Michaels knew it changed drastically on May 29, 2014. The Hastings teen was badly injured while dirt biking with a friend.
"I was just starting to learn, and I made a critical mistake," Michaels explained. "I immediately knew I couldn't move my legs, I had no feeling."
Michaels was airlifted to Bronson Hospital, where he learned he had been paralyzed from the waist down. After spending a week and a half in Intensive Care, he was moved to Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital. Although doctors have said he may never walk again, Michaels has spent the last seven weeks at the facility trying his hardest to prove them wrong. Amazingly, he's been able to move his toes, along with other encouraging signs.
"He's moving his toes, he's moving his ankles, he's moved up his knees a couple of times, I see no reason why Luke can't walk again," said his sister Hope Alcocer. "Luke's never OK with being stagnant...That's something we were raised with, always find the best in the situation and give it 110 percent."
Friends and family have also rallied around the teen with a movement on social media, called #PrayForLuke. Saturday, a benefit will be held at Fish Hatchery Park in Hastings to help his family with medical bills.
Michaels said the support has kept him going, along with his faith. His optimism also continues to inspire therapists, other patients and even complete strangers.
"You can find hope in any situation that you're in," Michaels told FOX 17 News. "There's never a reason... to be negative, there's never a reason to give up."
To learn more about the #PrayForLuke fundraiser on August 2nd, click here.
To follow his progress on Facebook, click here.
To donate to help the family with medical expenses, click here.