Persons with disabilities make up a sizable proportion of the global population. They also represent one of the most excluded and marginalized segments in our society. With so much to give and so little support, persons with disabilities face numerous barriers to personal growth and social inclusion. The word ‘disability’ has negative connotations in our society, where people with disabilities are often regarded as less capable than their non-disabled counterparts. This is primarily due to the fact that most people with disability are segregated from society and isolated from opportunities that would enable them to flourish independently. On a more positive note, we are seeing a rise in initiatives that aim to break down these walls of segregation and offer support for persons with disabilities so they can lead independent and fulfilling lives. Though we sometimes consider the disabled limited, countless men and women demonstrate that they are more handy and capable than ‘handicapped’, and they proudly defy stereotypes with valiance while inspiring everyone around them. Like Mike Infante:
Who is Mike Infante?
Mike Infante is a 21-year-old bodybuilder, model, videographer, and actor from Sacramento, CA, with cerebral palsy. Even though Mike uses a wheelchair and crutches, he remains unstoppable and uses any challenges he faces to fuel his drive for success and to inspire others. When Mike isn’t busy studying communications in college, he can be found pursuing his passions while trying to inspire others, especially people who may also suffer from a disability. Infante is a proxy for pure positivity and the will of a lion.
Pushing A Positive Message
Mike Infante has one core goal: To put out more positivity in the world. Even though Mike may be considered limited by some, he is a joyous and happy young man whose goal in life is to encourage and inspire. Although Mike wants to inspire everybody positively, he is a major advocate for other disabled people and hopes to spread awareness while also emphasizing that: disabled people are just as amazing and awesome as abled-peopled (if not more so!) Mike is a beacon of positive energy and is a champion of defying and breaking down the barriers of limitation. Mike Infante shared that knowing he is making a positive impact feels amazing; he says:
“It makes me happy to know that I am making impacts little by little every day getting messages from people and families giving them hope about their little one for their future showing anything is possible.”
While Mike has dealt with disease his entire life, he has also unfortunately been the victim of harassment from a young age. “Growing up I was bullied a lot, growing up I never had a lot of friends. People always doubted me and told me that because I had a disability I wouldn’t achieve anything. I’ve had many surgeries as well trying to fix my disability” Despite the negativity passed onto Mike he never gave up on being positive and achieving his dreams. Recently Mike lost a close friend that he did theater with. “His name is Seth smith. When he passed away in 2020 it broke me.” Mike looked up to Seth because he looked at him like a mentor and a brother . “Seth really influenced me all the encouragement he gave me.” While Infante is still mourning the recent loss of Seth, he refuses to let it take away from his mission to spread the same positivity and encouragement that Seth gave to him. No matter what hurdles that life throws at Infante, his ‘nothing will stop me’ outlook on life is consistent:
” Many people believe and get the idea that even with the disability you can’t do anything, but I believe you can always conquer the task if you put your mind to it.”
Mike’s story has more things in common with that of a fearless and unstoppable juggernaut whose only weapon is peace, positivity, and kindness. Mike Infante isn’t Peter Parker or Bruce Wayne, but that’s only because Mike is REAL. The spry young lad has already accomplished more than most might expect, and he is just in the first few chapters of his own ‘Hero’s quest.’ Infante is on a mission to create a positive impact in the world and to inspire people from ALL walks of life, whether they have disabilities or not. Sure, life may be seriously-strange and even downright difficult at times; but Mike encourages people by example, proving that at the end of the day, everybody is capable of achieving greatness.
“The world is full of hate, and we should spend more time generating positivity. I hope my story brightens people’s day regardless of anybody’s situation. Good will come out of it. Negativity is only temporary, but a good mindset will always come out on top.”