Seeing Through Mike May’s World (Courage Week)
Crashing Through by Robert Kurson is a true account of Mike May’s journey from being blind to gaining his sight as an adult in his forties. Blinded at age three when a jar of chemicals exploded in Mike’s face, he remembered little of the sighted world. But that didn’t stop him from living in it. With encouragement from his mother Mike experienced life more than some sighted people. He grew into a daredevil and tried everything from soccer, to bike riding, and driving his sister’s car. He was even a downhill speed skier!
Then one day his world was turned upside down when a doctor told Mike that he may be a candidate for stem cell surgery that could restore his vision. The risks associated with it were enormous, both physical and emotional, both equally as dangerous. Many things could go wrong. One of the greatest dangers of the operation was the potent immunosuppressive drugs he would have to take afterwards, drugs whose side effects included cancer.
In an impressive act of courage, Mike once more faced his fears and took a chance. And the operation was successful. A touching moment in the book was when he finally got to see his sons and realized one of them had freckles, something that was never mentioned to him, something he didn’t know about his own son. His vision wasn’t perfect though. His new sighted world brought him a whole new set of challenges.
What an amazing man. What an amazing story. There were times my heart actually skipped a beat when reading about his blind adventures and the struggles with his new vision. His story and courage are truly inspiring and with Thanksgiving this week, I know one more thing I’ll be thankful for, something I’ve always taken for granted—my vision.
As for my book club—most liked it but thought it was too in-depth, too lengthy. It was even suggested that it could have been a long magazine article instead of a book. In this case, I have to disagree. I found the few technical portions in the book interesting and necessary to grasp Mike’s experience. We talked about this book longer than we did most, going over Mike’s determination, his positive spirit, as well as his extraordinary mother who encouraged him in all things, even risky choices that would make any other mother cringe. I think it’s a great candidate for a book club selection. It stirred up more conversation and observations than usual—good and bad.
Find out more about Mike and his company, Sendero, which offers GPS-based systems that provide blind people access to detailed street and business location information. http://www.senderogroup.com/mm/mike.htm
Happy Reading, Happy Thanksgiving!
What did you think of this book? Post a comment or email: Readinginthegarden@gmail.com