Daily Archives: March 9, 2004
Perched 60 feet above the ground and alongside a cliff at Mississippi Palisades State Park, first-time rock climber Joel Irizarry took a quick breather. Though he was exhausted, his arms at the point of collapse, Irizarry wasn’t about to quit. He had to prove to himself that he could reach the summit. So grabbing hold of the specially designed gear, he hoisted himself up the remaining 20 feet to the jagged peak. At the top, Irizarry paused to watch the backwaters of the mighty Mississippi River glitter in the early evening sun. This, he thought, is just so beautiful.
Far below the dangling feet of the 19-year-old Paraplegic rested his wheelchair, unoccupied for the first time since he awoke that morning.
It’s been more than 12 years since Michael Wolfe suffered a debilitating stroke.
“I lost the use of my left arm and left leg, left hand,” says Wolfe.
His vision and speech were also affected. But this college professor and soccer fan is more determined than ever to regain the use of his left side.