Reaching new heights with OAS
Also posted in: OAS News & Updates
Empowering Michael to achieve new heights on his bike and to become a dual season OAS athlete was certainly one of our highlights of 2021. Michael’s journey with OAS was made possible because of our generous supporters. Please consider investing in those we’ll serve in 2022!
In 2019, Michael McDaniel attended a free community cycling clinic with OAS at Pine Nursery Park. Michael was seeking an inclusive and supportive community to expand his abilities and achievements both on and off the bike.
“In 2006, my sophomore year in high-school, I was an active, healthy, fully functional person, and one day I was at swim practice and about half-way through found myself struggling to stay above water. My coach pulled me from the pool and told me I was done for the day. At home an hour or two later I got the worst headache of my life, began losing my vision and became extremely nauseous. I called my sister over and urged her to call mom as something was really wrong, and then I blacked out.”
After being rushed to the hospital, Michael was induced into a coma, after which doctors at St Charles would discover a massive brain bleed and tumor. “After waking up, my neurosurgeon comes to me and tells me that he and I are going to become good friends because I had brain cancer and it was incurable.” Progressing through various treatments Michael’s battle with brain cancer continues to this day.
“I have had a total of 13 brain surgeries and I’ve strived to regain the use of my body and be as active as I possibly can. OAS gives me the opportunity to ride in events and places that would be unsafe on my own. My favorite part of cycling is the downhills and I enjoy it when other cyclists say ‘you passed me like a rocket!’ Cycling and snowboarding with OAS allows me to grow athletically, physically, socially, and mentally.”
Michael has become one of OAS’ most dedicated athletes, achieving life-long dreams of participating in Cycle Oregon (twice!) and summiting McKenzie Pass. Michael became a dual-season athlete in 2020 and is working towards independence on a snowboard.
An annual scholarship recipient, Michael’s participation with OAS has been fully subsidized by generous donors and partners and hinges on these investments from the community. We hope you’ll consider making an end of year gift to OAS to support Michael’s continued outdoor endeavors and those of the hundreds of others OAS will serve in the coming year.