After a routine play ended his blossoming NFLcareer with the Detroit Lion 15 years ago, Mike Utley took on the challenges of his spinal cord injury the same way he played pro football: “Mano-a-mano.” And from being unable to even use his hands, Utley has driven himself to an astonishing recovery while living life to the fullest – even zipping over the Columbia River on his beloved Sea-Doo.
“The Mike Utley Scholarship program has been a once in a lifetime experience.” “I have learned to do things that I didn’t know I could do.” stated Brian Borchers.
Friday October 7, 2011 Brian Borchers completed the Mike Utley Foundation Scholarship program at the Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan located in Detroit. Brian is the fourth recipient of this scholarship and resides in Monrovia, California.
Spinal cord injury (SCI) results in motor and sensory dysfunction below the level of injury, in part, because of a disruption of the descending motor signals transmitted from the brain to the spinal chord. We and others have previously demonstrated that pyramidal neurons in the primary motor cortex (M!) are lost after SCI.
Craig Hospital, in Denver, will be opening an outdoor terrain park in July 2008. This space will be used to ensure that patients who complete Craig’s rehabilitation program can lead the most independent, active and healthy lives possible. Many patients at Craig have to learn how to walk again, propel a manual wheelchair or operate a power chair. The terrain park will expose patients and their families to multiple outdoor challenges during in-patient rehabilitation.
The Mike Utley Center for Human Performance (MUCHP) is an innovative program designed to help people achieve maximum physical performance. The cornerstone of teh Center features a state-of-the-art Biofeedback Laboratory. The Laboratory is one of only two facilities in the Midwest to offer biofeedback therapy for persons with orthopedic and neurological conditions such as, spinal cord injury, brain injury, stroke and cerebral palsy.
Near 7 p.m. on November 17, 1991, Mike Utley walked onto the turf inside the Pontiac Silverdome. Utley, the Detroit Lions’ starting right guard, had spent three quarters trying to clear paths for Barry Sanders, but he had little to show for his efforts. Sanders had been contained. The Lions trailed the Los Angeles Rams, 10-7.
Today will commemorate the 20th anniversary for Mike Utley (#60) former offensive guard for the Detroit Lions. On November 17, 1991, during a crucial game against the Los Angeles Rams, while attempting to throw a block during a pass play, Mike Utley was paralyzed. Mikes’ story does not end on this monumental day in his life. His fighting spirit over the years symbolizes that Mike Utley is still going stronger than ever.