September 23, 2008 at U of D Mercy's Calihan Hall

DMC Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan’s 7th Annual Celebrity Wheelchair Basketball Game

DETROIT -- October 23, 1988. It's not his birthday. It's not the day he graduated. It's not a wedding date or the date he died... This is the date that Myreo Dixon experienced a life-changing event.

In his senior year of high school, a bullet struck Dixon's spinal cord, causing him to become paralyzed from the waist down.

Before the shooting, Dixon had skills on the court, although he wasn't the best. To compensate, he focused on strong points like leadership and humility. Once paralyzed, Dixon saw no more room for these traits. Luckily, a friend in the same situation inspired a spark of hope.

"I love the game," said Dixon about basketball. "I didn't want to play at first but he [Weusi Olusola] introduced me to wheelchair basketball and once I got use to the chair I felt like I was back in it [the game]."

Dixon and some of Detroit's top celebrities will participate in the DMC Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan's (RIM) 7th Annual Celebrity Wheelchair Basketball Game, September 23rd at U of D Mercy's Calihan Hall from 6:30 P.M.- 8:30 P.M.

The game features local TV, sports and radio personalities who play in wheelchairs alongside DMC Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan's wheelchair basketball team, the Detroit Diehards. This year's line-up will include appearances from: John Long, Detroit Pistons alumni, Doug Brown, Detroit Red Wings Alumni, Scott Kowalkowski, Detroit Lions Alumni, Lila Lazarus from FOX 2, Paula Tutman from WDIV 4, Dave Rexroth and Vic Faust from WXYZ 7, WJLB's Dr. Darrius, Sunshyne, Foolish, Coco, Mr. Chase, Bushman... and more! In addition to the variety of celebtirties, special organizations have significantly contributed their support to DMC RIM in making this event a reality. Those organizations include: Great Lakes Health Plan, Care Tech Solutions, Golden Dental Plans, Chrysler Corporation, Fisher Consulting Services, Total Health Care

Dixon is the Adapted Sports Coordinator for the RIM SportsAbility program. SportsAbility works with other community organizations providing on-going programs and instructional sports clinics throughout Detroit. All proceeds from this event will help sponsor this successful program.

"I wish people were open-minded to the misconceptions of disabled people," said Dixon. "We're a strong force and active in the community. We're a viable part of the community."

He continues on about the assumptions of many individuals he encounters.

"Don't assume; ask. Nine times out of ten, we can do the same things as an able-bodied person, just in a different way."

The wheelchair basketball program is just one of the many sports offered through RIM's SportsAbility program, which provides persons with disabilities the opportunity to participate in competitive and recreational sports. All proceeds from the Celebrity Wheelchair Basketball Game will benefit the SportsAbility program.

Although a life goal is to be able to travel without cost limitations associated to his condition, Dixon still lives his life a day at a time, appreciating the little things he once took for granted when he walked.

"Sports keep us healthy" said Dixon, "and provide a social avenue for networking and friendships. Through the Celebrity Wheelchair Basketball game, I have made many friends and encountered many new challenges."

Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students and can be purchased at www.celebritywheelchairbasketball.com. For more information call (313) 745-9817.

DMC's Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan is one of the nation's largest hospitals specializing in physical medicine and rehabilitation. The Institute is home to many innovative programs, including the Southeastern Michigan Traumatic Brain Injury System (SEMTBIS), which conducts groundbreaking rehabilitation research, and the Center for Spinal Cord Injury Recovery, a world-class facility designed to implement and study innovative treatments in spinal cord injury recovery. RIM is one of eight hospitals operated by the Detroit Medical Center (DMC). The DMC is proud to be the Official Healthcare Services Provider of the Detroit Tigers, Detroit Red Wings, Detroit Pistons and Detroit Shock.