Ashton Kutcher Offered to Donate His Heart to Save His Twin Brother Who’s Living With Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy is a condition for which, unfortunately, there is no cure. However, thanks to modern medicine, there are treatments that can improve the existing symptoms and the overall quality of life. Sadly, the number of people with this condition is quite big, and about 2 to 3 children out of every 1,000 have cerebral palsy. But all of them, including Michael Kutcher, actor Ashton Kutcher’s twin brother, prove that nothing can get in your way when you are destined to do great things.
Michael Kutcher faced the first of many challenges at birth.
Michael was the unexpected twin brother of Ashton Kutcher. At the time, their parents had no idea that they were expecting twins. When Michael entered the world, he was 5 pounds smaller than his brother, struggling to take his first breath.
However, with his indomitable instinct to survive and, of course, good medical care, he managed to pull through during his first weeks of life. This, unfortunately, had lasting adverse effects on his health, and in the following years, he battled developmental delays caused by neurological pathologies. And by the age of 3, Michael was diagnosed with cerebral palsy.
Michael never succumbed to the obstacles this condition threw at him and gave his best to rise above it.
Throughout his childhood, Michael had to overcome issues with speech, eyesight, and motor skill development. But he wasn’t alone in it. His family was very supportive during the whole process and encouraged him to always make the best of his circumstances.
“I think that’s really what gave me the driving power to overcome challenges and obstacles,” Michael said. “But I learned a lot outside of the family, interacting with different people, and, unfortunately, in society, people with disabilities are looked at as being different. I dealt with those struggles, and I still deal with those struggles.”
Due to heart failure at age 13, Michael was given a life expectancy of just 3 to 4 weeks.
When Ashton, Michael’s twin, found out that his brother’s life was at risk, he wished he could donate his heart to save his life. However, thankfully, they found a donor, and a life-saving heart transplant is how Michael defeated the odds again. This close-to-death experience was, in a way, a wake-up call for him to finally take control of his life. He graduated in 1996 and later earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and Finance.
Recently, Michael posted a picture of himself on Twitter, posing like Superman, and wrote, “I’d like to believe I have an ’S’ on my chest, but I don’t. In fact, I have a scar that kind of looks like an ’S,’ and that’s something that will continue to be a reminder of why I’m here today. At the end of the day, we are all superheroes!”
Even though he fought against the condition fearlessly, he was still ashamed of it.
For most of his life, Michael tried to hide the disorder that impacts his hearing, speech, vision, and mobility in his right hand. But in 2003, his brother, Ashton Kutcher (wanting to do something good for his brother), spoke openly about him and his condition on national TV.
Michael was furious with Ashton. He never wanted to talk publicly about how it is to live with this condition, and he didn’t want to be the face of cerebral palsy. However, little did he know that his brother’s openness to the world would change the trajectory of his life.
After his brother’s interview, Michael got a call from a woman who asked him to speak about his experience at a gala event. Michael wasn’t sure if he could speak to a room full of strangers about his life, but this woman’s daughter, Bella, who also suffered from cerebral palsy, changed his mind.
“A sweet little girl with a smile so bright and big,” Michael recalled. “Her cerebral palsy was quite severe and she couldn’t talk. I realized I needed to let go of the shame I felt and be a champion for people like Bella. I was finally ready to tell my story, and I knew because of my twin, I’d have a big reach.”
Today, Michael is grateful to his brother for shamelessly speaking about him. “Ashton did me the biggest favor he’s ever done because he allowed me to be myself,” Michael explained.
Ashton was always there to help and support his brother, and Michael is eternally thankful.
Because of his disability, Michael was called all kinds of different names and had difficulty making friends. But Ashton always stood up for his brother, as he wanted everyone to treat him with respect.
When they were kids and Ashton would’ve been invited for a sleepover, he wouldn’t go if Michael wasn’t allowed to come with him. “Most of the time, they’d say yes, but sometimes they’d say no, and Ashton would say to them, ’Well, then I’m not coming,’” Michael recalled.
Ashton loves his brother to bits, and once he said to him, “I wish I could take all of this off of you — and take it myself.” He also finds inspiration in Michael. “My brother’s daily actions remind me that life isn’t about running around challenges — it’s about running through them. Mike has a relentless work ethic and deep compassion for others.”
Michael wouldn’t change his life for anything.
Today, he is happily married and is a father of 3 children. He is a spokesperson for The Cerebral Palsy Foundation and an advisor at Joshin, an app that helps people find care for a person with disabilities.
Michael is also proud of the man he has become. “I love who I am. I love the impact I’ve been able to make, and the people I’ve been able to touch. And I wouldn’t have been able to do that If I didn’t have these obstacles, or as I like to call them — an opportunity,” he revealed.
Do you know someone with cerebral palsy? Share this story with your friends so we can raise awareness for this condition and give hope to families and people living with a disability.