Michael Kutcher, brother to famous actor Ashton Kutcher, has been sharing his story of struggling with cerebral palsy. While talking to kids at Ottumwa High School in Iowa, Kutcher explained how his brother “Jabba the Hutt” was born 10.5 pounds, while he weighed only 4 pounds and was over-oxygenated.
Kutcher recounted that he was diagnosed with mild cerebral palsy at the age of three and that he has impaired walking ability, difficulty using his right side, and hearing loss in his left ear.
Kutcher told a story about playing basketball with Ashton and being told to us his “right hand.” Mike walked away, complaining that it wasn’t fair since his right hand was impaired. Ashton said, “You can do anything you want. I can’t make that shot for you. Mom’s not here; she can’t do it for you. It’s your challenge. Stop using your disability as a crutch. This is your obstacle.”
These words stayed with him for the rest of his life. At the age of 13, he needed a heart transplant and experienced cardiac arrest. He received a donor heart just 24 hours before the doctors told his parents that his time would run out, and he was given a life expectancy of seven years with the new heart. It’s now been 20.
Michael explained that, at that point, “I decided to stop being Ashton’s brother and start being Michael Kutcher.
Michael now spends his time employed in sales for a company in Cedar Rapids and Los Angeles, but he also speaks to young people about disability awareness and overcoming obstacles they face.
Certainly a story worth listening to.