My name is Michael Brangwynne, I am a 28 year old male married with one child. I am disabled with a rare genetic disease called hereditary spastic paraplegia. My disease is the topic of my life. Once a prominent young pitcher who has now become the "kid in the wheelchair". Do not get me wrong, I believe myself to be much more than that title and believe I have a much greater message to share with the world. I love to make people laugh and to make them learn that not all disabilities limit people in how they think and how they move. I still have the ability to walk short distances and continue to drive my vehicle without aide. I love turning the tables on my disability and treating others the way they always presume they need to treat me. I hold the door for everyone and make sure to have a smile on my face every time I meet someone I don't know and every time I reconnect with a friend or loved one. The phrase treat others how you want to be treated is a phrase I take to heart but in an opposing way. I treat others the way they assume they need to treat me. I do not need every door held for me nor do you need to smile at me every time I look at you. You give me the "poor guy" smile like I am always sad and your smiling face makes me feel more comfortable inside. It does not, it makes me feel like I am walking down main street in Disney Land, you know, the "happiest place on earth". This is another reason that I love children when I am out and about in my wheelchair. They don't hesitate to ask me questions, look at me in wonder and treat me like a human. Without asking me questions like "what happened to your legs?" and "were you always like that?" people will never learn about me and my differences. The difference between myself and most people is not that I am disabled it is that I realize I am not disabled, only different. People always seem to be categorizing things including other people. Everyone is either white or black or have bad vision or cannot walk. I disagree with that and think everyone is human and that everyone is different, some just more than others.
Areas of Expertise
disabilities, sports, Web, thinking
An idea worth spreading
I think the best idea worth spreading is the idea that people need to treat others better. We have gone away from respecting elders and parents and that sickens me to no end. Everything seems to be about getting ahead of everyone else and making yourself out to be better than everyone else. Where has the compassion and trust gone in this world? No one trusts anyone any more and no one should. There is no sense of community, no sense of working together as a team to survive. Everything I see is about getting yourself and your family to survive even if it means screwing someone else. Why can't we live in a world where we all help one another again? Isn't that how this country of mine started, cause it seems it may be how this world may come to an end.
I'm passionate about
Living life to the fullest and getting through tough times. Everyone has tough times they need to get through and many times need help to get through it. I want to help everyone get through theirs.
Talk to me about
Any and everything. I am not afraid to learn from others or learn what others think. I also have no problem returning the favor and letting you pick my brain and opposing my point of view.
People don't know I'm good at
Popping wheelies, smiling, poetry, writing, computers and living. I love making people laugh and smile as well as getting them to re think what they see as the normal and what they see as right.
My TED story
My ted story starts with my grandfather, he was and still is the greatest man I have ever known in my entire life. He struggled with many things in life but always put those things on the back burner for others including his family and total strangers. I remember gardening all summer with him, he loved his garden and I loved gardening with him every weekend. He always grew string beans, cucumbers and tomatoes. He especially loved tomatoes and would bite right into them like they were apples. The funniest part of all was that no one in the family really liked tomatoes except for him and every year we would grow a bunch of them, probably close to 100. Every year when we finished picking all the tomatoes my grandfather would pack them all in a bunch of paper bags. We would walk to church and give them out to strangers we had grown to talk with there on Sunday mornings, Not only that but after church we would walk the neighborhood and go door to door till we ran out of bags to give.