Michael Haddad lost control of 75% of his body after a jet-ski accident 26 years ago and stays standing up with his two crutches and a 15-kilogram steel exoskeleton, yet despite all that, he’s preparing to walk 19 kilometers between the Cedars of Bcharre and the Cedars of Tannourine! Maghawir commander Chamel Roukoz will escort Mike every step of the way and for every step he takes, a Lebanese Cedar tree will be planted.
What an inspiring story and what a remarkable individual this Mike is!
Many thanks to Gino for sharing this story.
So, sounds simple. Walk 19 kilometers between the Cedars of Bsharre and the Cedars of Tannourine. A total of 60,000 steps. But, the catch is, Michael Haddad is paralyzed from the chest down. Only his upper torso, arms and head and neck are functional. He stays standing up with his two crutches and a 15-kilogram steel exoskeleton. Yes, you read that right. I had to double and triple check myself.
I had the extreme pleasure of meeting Mike this afternoon, and I know this is going to sound cliche, but this man put my whiny self to shame. After a tragic jet-ski accident 26 years ago, Mike lost control of 75% of his body. In a country where the disabled are given virtually no acknowledgment, and faced with forever being ostracized from society, most of us would wallow in our despair and give up on life. Mike though, was the happiest, bubbliest, spunkiest person I have met in months if not years. [GinosBlog]
You can follow Mike’s progress on the hashtag #BreakingBarriersLebanon on Twitter and Instagram.