"Mighty Mike" Simmel was once a child that could not hop on one leg, or even skip as a result of his slow motor skills from epilepsy and seizures. He had to be placed in special education gym class. At age 7, Mike's father gave him a basketball to see if his slow motor skills could be overcome and he could develop his coordination. It worked. "Mighty Mike" initially outgrew his "drop attacks", but his seizures would come back as he grew older. Mike was later asked to leave a basketball camp for having a seizure at age 16 and that event changed him forever. As a young adult Mike also faced problems from bipolar disorder and that with his epilepsy could have hindered him from being able to play basketball altogether. Despite these setbacks nothing ever stopped him from living his dreams to the fullest. Mike still takes medications and lives an active and healthy lifestyle. He believes that everyone should also have a chance to follow their goals and live life to the utmost no matter whatever their background!
That is why the Bounce Out the Stigma™ Project was created. It is a youth outreach campaign geared toward giving all children and young people a chance to learn using basketball as the primary vehicle to overcome obstacles in life. Our purpose is for children to gain confidence and "bounce-out" their limitations to empower themselves. We want children to develop communication channels with parents, doctors and loved ones, all in hopes to be the best they can be. This is so that they too can be mighty and develop their God-given abilities in whatever road their lives may take them. We all will have boundaries placed on us in life but they can not define us or the person we want to become!
Check out the Bounce Out the Stigma™ website featuring:
- Mighty Mike's Summer Camp- Where everyone will shine!
- In-School Assembly Series
- Workshop/Seminar Series and Special Events
- Mighty Mike's Bounce Out the Stigma™ Parent and Youth DVD
- The Mighty Mike Bounce Out the Stigma™ Fundraising Efforts
The Mighty Mike Bounce Out the Stigma Project is a 501(c)(3) organization.