On Memorial Day, 2014, Michael Carr suffered a debilitating stroke. However, his story did not end there. Rather than allowing himself to become bitter and isolated, Michael is using his experience to bring hope and faith to others. With the help of his wife, Debbie, Michael began writing, “The Lion in the Wheelchair” four years ago to inspire others. The Carrs will celebrate with a book signing event to be held at 10:30am on January 22 at The Pines Senior Apartments in Chelsea, Michigan.
A retired social worker and counselor, Michael has devoted his life to helping people. As someone who has always loved to write, he initially planned to study journalism in college at Central Michigan University. But he changed his focus to counseling because “people felt comfortable telling me their stories.” He had the same experience with people he met going through rehabilitation following his stroke. They encouraged him to write down his words of caring and hope. “I see myself as a cheerleader,” says Michael. “We are all in a wheelchair, limited and hurting, whether in mind, body, or spirit,” says Michael. “We forget how much God loves us and that God wants greatness for each of us. I am using my writing gift to lift up others.”
Over four years in the making, “The Lion in the Wheelchair” is a self-published book of Michael’s inspirational essays along with beautiful illustrations by his long-time friend, Melina Jackson, professor at Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida. Michael says, “God gave me the title, ‘The Lion in the Wheelchair,’ because of the way the lion makes its enemies scatter. I want this book to show the true heart of God who is for you and not against you.”
Debbie and Michael moved to The Pines two and a half years ago. “The staff does an amazing job and provides me with so much help,” says Debbie. The Carrs also enjoy the opportunities at The Pines to socialize, including pizza parties and exercise classes which Michael helps the instructor lead. “We couldn’t have gotten through this period without our faith, a sense of humor, and the love and support of those around us,” adds Debbie.
Michael has started a second book with a focus on fighting fear and writes blog posts of “Encouragement, Inspiration and Motivation” at lions-gateway.com. Michael believes in the power of showing and giving love. “Love moves you to greatness.”
For more information, contact Kristy Collins, Executive Director of The Pines, at 734-433-9130 or by e-mail at Kcollins@umrc.com.