The mission of the Mike Utley Foundation is to financially support an effective function-restoring treatment for spinal cord injuries, to encourage through education that of adopting a rehabilitative lifestyle for the spinal cord injured and a public awareness of spinal cord injuries. We appreciate the support of our contributors and know that together we can make a difference in the lives of those living with SCI.
On November 17, 1991, Detroit Lions’ offensive guard Mike Utley (#60) was paralyzed during an NFL game against the Los Angeles Rams at the Silverdome in Detroit, MI. Mike’s courageous “Thumbs Up” gesture as he was carried from the field has come to symbolize his fighting spirit.
In the years since sustaining his injury Mike has focused all of his time and energy through countless hours of therapy and rehabilitation striving to fulfill his goal; to someday walk unassisted off of the Ford Field. In addition to his rehabilitative efforts to walk again, in January of 1992 Mike took on a new challenge; that of helping all people disabled by spinal cord injuries (SCI). The Mike Utley Foundation was therefore established to provide financial support for research, rehabilitation and education for SCI related injuries. We are dedicated to finding a cure and to provide motivational and emotional support for individuals who have been disabled with such injuries.
In addition to the support of select research, the Mike Utley Foundation financially supports patient and family assistance programs, patient equipment, patient and family education and therapeutic recreation for those living with spinal cord injuries. The Foundation seeks financial assistance through individual and corporate support and special events. Additionally, Mike travels extensively for motivational speaking engagements to raise awareness of those living with SCI. Mike works closely with various medical and physical fitness experts in developing programs for increasing self-sufficiency in spinal cord injured persons. He also spends a great deal of time in an effort to educate the community of the importance of accessibility to public services.
The Mike Utley Foundation encourages those disabled by such injuries to expand their potential through rehabilitation, physical training, education and a determined pursuit of personal goals. Mike’s philosophy concerning SCI is that although everyone does not have the same level of injury, financial, social or career opportunities he believes in the positive influence of setting, moving towards and reaching individual goals that provide solid foundations for building self-esteem. These disciplines directly mirror the training of an athlete. “Go into battle prepared to win”.
The Mike Utley Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization. Our mission is to shepherd an effective function-restoring treatment for spinal cord injuries, to encourage through education that of adopting a rehabilitative lifestyle for the spinal cord injured and a public awareness of spinal cord injuries. We appreciate the support of our contributors and know that together we can make a difference in the lives of those living with SCI.