Back in 1996, Michael was a sick young guy. Diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma, this athlete-in-the-making wanted to meet the greatest baseball player he had ever seen play the game - Ken Griffey, Jr. That was in 1996 and Michael was just 12-years-old. Ken Griffey, Jr., was a guy Michael admired both on and off the field. And so, in May of 1996, Make-A-Wish sent Michael and his family to Seattle to meet this stellar player. Michael's wish was the 2,067th granted by our local chapter.
Michael's wish had an impact both on him and his family. Michael is now 28 years old, recently married and an assistant football coach at Duquesne University. He was previously assistant football coach at St. Francis University, where he attended and played Division I-AA football before graduation Michael is pictured here with wife, Mame, at the San Diego marathon, a race they completed to raise money for Make-A-Wish® in May 2008. Together, Michael and Mame raised more than $4,700. Michael most recently held a Night at the Races to benefit Make-A-Wish. (View photos here.) Michael's father has been a volunteer for Make-A-Wish since 1999.
Michael is the founder of the annual Relay for Life event at St. Francis University. He is the recipient of the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society Courage Award and the American Legion Leadership Award, as well as the 2001 Highmark Courage to Come Back winner. Michael was a four-year starter and a three-year captain of his St. Francis University football team. He led the team in tackles two of four years and is 6th on its all-time tackle list with 337 tackles. Michael is currently studying for his Master's Degree in Human Resources.