An award winning essayist, S. Michael Scadron now offers his inspirational memoir, Two Mountains: Kilimanjaro to Quadriplegic and Back—a remarkable, everyman story of inner strength, courage and willingness to endure—as well as the fond and funny moments that arise and comfort in the midst of fear.
An avid runner and trekker, Michael suffered a rare neurological disorder that rendered him quadriplegic just weeks after he reached the summit of Kilimanjaro. Transformed from an active, vibrant 52-year old into a wheelchair-bound patient who needed assistance to feed, move, relieve and clean his body, Michael faced a strange new world. The story recounts his climb up Kilimanjaro and his unprecedented ascent to walk again.
Michael lives in Silver Spring, MD with his wife and two rescue cats. A 30+ year veteran Senior Trial Counsel with the U.S. Justice Department, Michael's passion for civil and human rights is evidenced today by his advocacy for wrongfully convicted prisoners in the U.S. and abroad. His non-fiction work has appeared in the Christian Science Monitor, Bethesda Magazine, and on multiple travel websites.
When he’s not penning a compelling story, Michael stays active, loves to travel, and enjoys family and friends. He is most grateful for reclaiming the ability to walk, and learning how to navigate life differently than ever imagined.
“Mike’s illness broke my heart. Without his optimism and resilience, I do not believe he could've made the substantial gains he achieved. Optimism and the love and support of family and friends are critical to recovery from devastating illness or loss.”
—JoAnn, former Deputy Director at DOJ
"When next I saw Michael sitting in a wheelchair at my wife's memorial service, I recall him saying, "We've both been tested. It will be up to us to not give in and to overcome our present condition." I recall thinking what courage and daily energy it must take Michael to struggle against this disease, not knowing what the outcome will be! And of course, Terri is a saint—what a strong woman! In the midst of my own sorrow at losing my wife, I felt strangely buoyed by Michael and Terri's spirit. If they could get through this, so could I. And so we both put our lives back together. "
—Arthur, Childhood Friend, retired college professor
"Michael's experience contributed to my interest in working on behalf of those with physical and mental disabilities, both professionally and as a volunteer."
—Sheila, former trial attorney at Civil Rights Division, DOJ
"Prior to Mike's illness, he and I competed at local running events.... Mike's physical conditioning from running surely served him well in overcoming his illness, but the illness took running away from Mike. This must have been extremely hard to accept, but he never showed any bitterness....After he sufficiently recovered from his illness, Mike returned to the office and resumed his role as a valued senior litigator and mentor...."
—Adam, trial attorney at Civil Division, DOJ
"Mike's illness had a destiny of its own that only it knew about. Recovery...was different. The disease implacably set its own limits, but Michael could reach and even extend those limits through strength of will and effort.... This is Michael's book, not Terri's, but her commitment as Michael's teammate has been tremendously inspiring to me."
— Judy M., D.C. Superior Court Judge