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Spinal Cord Injury Information & Resource Directory

J. Michael Kanouff

Excerpt from Chapter One: Born of the Water

"I closed my eyes and waited for the tumble of water and sand to subside. The Frisbee had been thrown low, but I made a heroic leap for it anyway, thinking the surf would cushion my fall to the sand; it did not. My head burrowed hard into the sand while the rest of my body somersaulted. My neck snapped. When I couldnít move my arms to push up out of the water, I realized instantly that my life was going to be totally different - if I survived." 

Read Chapter One on-line here


Letters from the Edge is a gift to the world, not just those who live in the world of disability. With eloquence and a sharp sense of humor, he takes the reader on a journey from despair to inner peace... a book to be treasured for its wisdom, given to us by a man who truly understands what it means to be alive. -Christopher Reeve  

A remarkable book... There is much to gain from reading Michaelís words describing his ten year odyssey. Michael chose very early on in his experience of paralysis to uplift himself; this has been his journey. If you have your health, let his words reverberate in your heart and help you to send any self-imposed paralysis out of your life.  -Dr. Wayne Dyer  

& a few Letters

Dear Michael, I have been hanging out with your book for the last few weeks, reading it mainly at night. It is a beautiful book, very inspiring, so real as opposed to theoretical. And now you have the love of your life! You have demonstrated fine character and bravery and it is an honor to know you. The life you lead is so much closer to the truth than most if not all of us. Makes me think of our mutual friend George L's phrase: 
"welcome the hit" You took the biggest hit imaginable and have turned it into.... I am struggling for the right word...beauty. Much love, Steve

Your on-line book is wonderful. Perhaps through this medium a great number of us in the world of the walking can take inventory of the gifts we all have. -Grace

Thank you for sharing so much of your special story. You have written beautifully about such a tragic event. I hope you won't mind if I use a bit of your story when I give a lecture to junior nursing students about chronic conditions. Your descriptions tell more than I ever could. Thanks and best of luck to you. -Lynn

"On December 12th 1993 , I died. Within one second, I was given a second life, a journey as a quadriplegic. Thus began my travels in a wheelchair, through totally new terrain. I wrote a few letters along the way."  - Michael Kanouff

Born Of The Water

Your writings are very powerful and compelling. Your writings depict a source of encouragement and hope for all of us to keep struggling no matter what. - Mary Kay H.

Michael, I want to thank you from the deepest reaches of my heart for taking the time to put your heart and soul into writing this book. There have been times over the past 25 years of my life as a paraplegic when I have been way down. Thanks for giving me the strength to keep on keeping on. -Gary


Letters from the Edge available for purchase at Llumina Press

Read Chapter One on-line here

Email Michael

Letters Web Site

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