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Mike Welch’s Weblog
29th Dec, 2009

Seasons Greetings!

So it’s been ages since I last sent out an update. I got busy. Really busy. I had a 19 credit hour semester at Loyola University Chicago. Even though I was very busy, taking on an extra class every semester will help me finish my degree faster. I’m going for degrees in biology and neuroscience right now and my  future plans are to try and get into an M.D./Ph.D. program at a school doing spinal cord injury research. So that’s why I’ve been busy. I had some fun too in jazz band and wind ensemble.

“One of Our Own” has sold tremendously well both in the states and Japan. I don’t have an exact numbers of how many sold, but I will update when I have them. I do know that the numbers are huge! So I have mountains and mountains of gratitude for everybody who played a part in putting this album together. There’s links at to download if you already haven’t.

I was planning on traveling to New Delhi, India to receive two months of stem cell therapy under the care of Dr. Geeta Shroff. This is no longer the case. After multiple inquires for quantitative data of recovery rates in her patients with spinal cord injury. Every time I asked she would give me nothing but a few patient testimonials and even had a few patients call me on the phone. I’ve also been lucky enough to rap with some of the most brilliant scientists in stem cell research about Dr. Shroff’s practice. They all warned me not to go. There is serious doubt to wether she is actually injecting cells or not. Her treatment delivery methods don’t make sense. And some believe that her practice may not even be legal. So that’s why I’m not going to India.

There are other clinics around the world that are doing stem cell therapy for spinal cord injury; some have even published their results and are doing things pretty legitimately. Next year here in the states several clinical trials will be starting on cell therapies for spinal cord injury. To be a participant in any of these trials you cannot have received a cell therapy treatment within the last year or longer depending on the trial. So as much as it sucks sitting in this chair all day, I think it’s best to wait it out a bit longer and see what the home teams come up with in the near future.

The holidays in Chicago were great. Janine and I got to split up the holidays with both families. It was like having two Christmases in the same day. And it snowed.

so in 2010… lots of love, peace and gratitude!




いやぁ、最後にブログを投稿して以来、本当に久しぶり。すごく忙しかったんだよ。本当に忙しくてね。Loyola University Chicago(シカゴの大学)で19単位(科目)を取得したよ。どれだけ忙しかろうと、毎期必要な履修単位以上に単位(授業)を取れば、それだけ速く学位を終えることができるからね。今は生物学と神経科学における学位を取得中で、将来的なプランとしては、脊髄損傷の研究をしながら学校でM.D./Ph.D(医学博士号)の取得に挑戦したいと思っているんだ。なので、ずっと忙しかったんだよ。それと、ジャズバンドとウィンドアンサンブルも楽しんだよ。

“One of Our Own”はアメリカでも日本でも、大変な売れいきだよ。どのくらい売れたか、正確な数はわからないけど、わかったらまた追って知らせるからね。でも、巨大な数だってことは確かだよ!このアルバムを作るにあたって協力してくれたみんなには、山ほどの感謝の気持ちでいっぱいだよ。もしまだダウンロードしてない人がいたら、このリンクからどうぞ :

インドのニューデリーに渡って、Geeta Shroff博士の元で2カ月ほど幹細胞治療を受ける予定だったんだけど、これは取り止めることにしたよ。脊髄損傷を負った彼女の患者の回復率について、定量的なデータについて様々検討した上でそう決めたんだ。いつ彼女に尋ねても、数名の患者に関する証明データと、数人の患者との電話での会話しか与えてくれなかった。また、Shroff博士の研究に関して苦言を呈する何人かの優秀な幹細胞研究者達に出会えたことも幸運だった。彼らはみんな、行くべきではないと警告してくれたんだ。彼女が実際に細胞を注入しているかどうか、重大な疑念がある。彼女の施術方法には理由づけできる根拠がないし、彼女の活動は法に則っていないんじゃないかという確信もあるし。なので、インドには行かないことにしたよ。





14th Jul, 2009

A crazy year, eh?

So parking since I moved into the city has been frustrating. Yesterday, I had to park unusually far away, and on my trek back to my apartment I was crossing a street and a car blew through their red light, almost hit a car going through their green light, and nearly took me out. It was close. About a half a block later I realized that it would have been the exact time one year ago I lost control of my bike in Matsumoto. Crazy.

So I’d say I’m off to a better start of this particular 365 day period than the last. Cheers!

But seriously, I can’t express my gratitude enough to my friends, family and strangers who have helped me out in their ways the last year. I’m doing very well, but I couldn’t be doing this well a year later without all of your help.

I still practice Bikram Yoga nearly everyday. I made it to 123 days before I took a day off. My body is still getting stronger and for the first time in a long time I’m seeing some signs of return. On the left side of my torso both sensation and movement are coming back, slowly. The sensation has creeped down about 3cm, and I can clearly see my intercostal muscles working in the mirror at Yoga. So that is fantastic news. I also finally have my own leg braces and walker, so I spend some time everyday hobbling around the apartment feeling tall.

Speaking of apartment, I guess it really has been a long time since I updated my blog. Janine and I got an awesome apartment in the city together. It’s right on the lake, and we have a balcony on the top floor facing the lake! So I’ve been enjoying living outside of my parent’s home again, and I’m sure they’re enjoying me gone just as much.

My semester ended well. I got straight A’s. I’m officially all set up to start classes at Loyola University in the fall with a major in biology/premed with a focus in neuroscience. Look out, I’m going to be a scientist, or worse… a doctor.

I’ve been spending a lo of time this summer restoring antique brass instruments. I’ve been picking them up on ebay, and then reselling them back on ebay. It’s time consuming, but fun to see a horn change from ugly to pretty.

This past month I was lucky enough to go to Bloomington, Indiana three times to see friends in the current and past casts of blast! It was great to reconnect with the blast! family and see everybody. If you’re seeing the show this summer in Japan, enjoy. It’s one hell of a cast.

Other than that, I’ve really just been enjoying summer. There’s a beach across the street from our apartment that has a wheelchair ramp that goes all the way to the water. And from what I understand the CD “One of Our Own” by the Blast! family is nearing release! India… India… India…

peace, love and gratitude…



都市に引っ越してきて以来、駐車に関してはすごく苛立たしい思いをしている。 いつもかなり遠くに車を止めなきゃならないんだけど、昨日車を止めてアパートへ戻ろうと長い道のりを戻る途中に通りを横断していたら、赤信号側の車がすっ飛ばしてきて、青信号で走行中の車にもう少しでぶつかるところだったんだ。危うく巻き添えを食って吹っ飛ばされるところだったよ。すごく近くで起こったからね。半ブロック進んだあたりで、ちょうど1年前のその日その時間に、松本で自転車のコントロールを失ったんだってことを思い出したよ。クレイジーだよね。






みんな気をつけてね。僕は科学者か、悪くすると… 医師になるつもりだからね。



その他には、夏を楽しんでいるよ。アパートから通りを渡って向こう側まで、海の水に入れるまでずっと、車椅子用のスロープがあるんだ。あと、Blast!ファミリーによる“One of Our Own”という題名のCDだけど、近々リースされるからね!




30th Apr, 2009

Thanks Amy!

This blog definitely necessitates an introduction that includes mass amounts of gratitude to Amy Sanchez who ran the Cheseboro half marathon to raise funds for me. Amy raised $1325.55 with the help of Rob Schaer, Susan Willmering, Rena Urso-Trapani, TJ Young, Marissa Zambito, DJ Corchin, Amy McCabe, Stephen Pollino, Cameron Harder Handel, Lynda Lavin, Jason Jackson, Jeremy Deaton, Karen Siedlecki, Jim Lutz, Kelly Olson, Gloria Shelton, Joseph DiGiovanna, James Anzalone, Holly Carlton, Mary Sanchez, Jill Ferguson, Ken Odom, Ian Sanchez, and Matthew Anderson. All of you have my infinite gratitude. Amy, you are a rock star.

And as always…keep the love coming at

I’m not sure if my life keeps changing more radically and faster between updates or if I just keep getting worse about posting updates. Perhaps it’s a combination of both with an emphasis on the latter. My first semester back at studies will be coming to a close in the coming weeks, so I am looking forward to some time to relax some. My grades are still all A’s.

The time for relaxation couldn’t come at a better time as weather in Chicago starts to turn favorable. We’ve had a few days at 80F (27C) and they were marvelous. Along with the change in weather is a change in location. I’m moving out of my parent’s house and into the city. My girlfriend Janine and I got an awesome apartment with a huge balcony and an amazing view of Lake Michigan. A public beach is just a half block away and we’ll be moving in two weeks.

I’ve continued to go to Bikram Yoga everyday since mid-February and today was my 75th consecutive day of practicing. I continue to grow stronger in the upper body and I would say that I am regaining some control in my body, but at a very, very slow pace. We recently photographed my practice at the studio I practice at. Here’s a link to the photos:

Today was kind of nostalgic. One year ago today I left Fairbanks International Airport on a unicycle with a fifty pound pack on my back for a 1000 mile ride North to the Arctic Ocean and back South. I did a rough write up of the trip when I got back from Alaska. Here’s a link to it: Alaska 2008: The Dalton Highway Write-Up (Long) - Unicyclist Community It’s a little lengthy, but a good read if you have the time. If you read anything about me breaking the law, it’s of course not true.

Thanks again to Amy!

love, peace, and gratitude…




このブログで先ず、僕の資金集めに協力する為にCheseboroハーフマラソンに参加してくれたAmy Sanchezを、多大なる感謝の気持ちを込めて紹介させてもらうね。

AmyRob SchaerSusan WillmeringRena Urso-TrapaniTJ YoungMarissa ZambiatoDJ CorchinAmy McCabeStephen PollinoCameron Harder HandelLynda LavinJason JacksonJeremy DeatonKaren SiedleckiJim LutzKelly OlsonGloria SheltonJoseph DiDiovannaJames AnzaloneHolly CarltonMary SanchezJill FergusonKen OdomIan Sanchezand Matthew Andersonの協力を得て、$1325.55もの資金を集めてくれたんだ。協力してくれたみんなに、無限の感謝を捧げます。Amy、君はロックスター(カッコ良すぎてしびれるよ)さ。

そして、いつものように へ愛ある寄付をお願いします。





2月の中旬以降、毎日Bikram Yoga(ヨガ)に通い続けていて、今日は通算75回目のレッスンを受けてきた。上半身はますます鍛え上げられてきたし、体内で何らかのコントロール機能を取り戻しはじめていると思うんだけど、ただ、とってもゆっくりとしたペースでだけどね。スタジオでヨガのレッスン中に練習風景を写真に収めてみた。これがその写真のリンクね :


今日は、ちょっと哀愁に浸っちゃう日だった。ちょうど1年前のこの日、フェアバンクス空港を発ち、50ポンドもあるリュックを背負って一輪車で北極海に向け北上し、そして南下するという1000マイルの旅に出た日なんだよ。アラスカから戻った時に、この旅の概略を書いたんだ。これがそのリンクだよ :Alaska 2008: The Dalton Highway Write-Up (Long) - Unicyclist Community ちょっと長いけど、時間がある時に読んでもらうといいかもね。僕の法律違反に関することが何か書かれていたとしても、それは勿論本当じゃないからね。




A big thanks to those of you who emailed me over the last couple of days to remind me that I haven’t posted an update in almost two months… I’ve been super busy! Classes started for me on January 20th, and after seven weeks, I still have perfect marks! I’m taking a full course load with Intro to Biology, Intro to Chemistry, Calculus, English, and Jazz Band. The science classes have been great for me, and have contributed to a greater understanding of how my body works. Calculus and English are online courses for me, which has been perfect. I love being able to view lectures and do homework wherever and whenever I want to… particularly in my underwear on the couch at one in the morning. And playing bass trombone in the Jazz Band has been tremendous fun. I had to completely relearn to play. My abdominal muscle is still only functioning minimally so I’ve had to learn to overcompensate with my diaphragm, oblique muscles, and my upper intercostal muscles that still work. I’m really starting to figure things out and I’m almost as loud as I used to be!

The benefit album being produced by Adam Rapa is almost done from what I’ve been hearing. A huge thanks to Adam for dedicating so much of his time and self to the project, and also buckets full of gratitude for all of the talent on the album. What I have heard from it is amazing, and I can’t wait to hear the rest. A few weeks back I laid down some bass trombone tracks for Adam’s song. It was a great experience getting into the studio with my horn. It was not an easy day, but I’m glad I did it. When I called the studio owner and asked if I could get a wheelchair into his sound room, his response was “Of course, the door is super wide.” Upon arrival, I learned there were two flights of stairs up to the studio… but the door was totally wide enough. So it took a little bit of muscle to get up there, but it was definitely worth it.

And speaking of muscle… as of today I have practiced Bikram Yoga ( everyday for the last 21 days, and I feel amazing. My balance has improved exponentially, my legs aren’t nearly as spastic as they used to be, I can sweat evenly all over my body, my sensation level has travelled down about an inch, my uppermost abdominal muscle is working strong, my oblique muscles and lats are getting very strong and my arms are getting ripped! For those of you familiar with Bikram Yoga, I do the standing series in my wheelchair and the floor series almost as is, on the floor. The next time I post I should have photos of the entire series. Practicing has definitely brought back great memories from practicing in the studio in Ginza in Tokyo with my Blast! friends.

A big thanks to Tom Sanchez, Naoko Goto, and Kazyo for helping out with the the stem cell treatment fund. Every dollar, euro, pound and yen gets me closer to the treatment that will get me off my butt, so if you can spare a buck, please do @   Keep the love coming!

And speaking of love… I am in it. An amazing woman named Janine came into my life in the beginning of January. She challenges me, keeps me on my toes, practices yoga everyday, and makes me obnoxiously happy and often has me in a state of uncontrollable laughter. So yes, life is grand.

And it keeps getting better… I was also approved for Medicaid (finally,) so my gargantuan hospital bills will not force me into bankruptcy, and in a few weeks I get to get back to rehab. With my increased strength from my yoga practice, I have no doubt that I’ll be flying around the room in leg braces. So I am for sure looking forward to that.

So yeah, I’m just going to keep on kicking ass. And I’ll have another update sooner that two months from now…

peace, love and gratitude…



ここ最近メールをくれたみんな、2ヶ月近くblogを投稿していないことに気づかせてくれてありがと・・・。毎日超忙しいよ!120日から授業がスタートして7週間経つけど、完璧に授業を受けているよ。僕は今、生物学基礎、化学基礎、微積分学基礎、英語、それとJazz Bandとフルコースで受講中なんだ。 科学の授業が特に良くて、僕の身体がどのように機能しているかを理解するのにものすごく役立つよ。微積分学と英語は、オンラインのコースで受講中。完璧だよ。講義も見ることができるし、宿題もいつでもどこでもやりたい時にできるし・・・特に、夜中にソファの上でパンツ一枚で過ごしている時とかさ。Jazz Bandの授業でバストロンボーンを吹くのが、すごく楽しみなんだ。 プレーするには、完全に勉強し直さなきゃならなかったよ。腹筋は、まだ最低限しか動かすことができないから、横隔膜や斜紋筋、あと動かすことができる肋間筋の上の部分で補なって吹かなきゃならないんだ。どこをどう動かしたらたら良いのか段々わかってきたし、今じゃ昔吹いてた時と同じくらい、やかましい音が出せるようになってきたよ!

聞いたところによると、募金に協力してくれるAdam Rapaが製作中のアルバムが、ほぼ完成したそうだよ。この為に彼のとても貴重な時間や彼の才能を費やしてくれたアダムには、感謝しきれないくらいの謝意を表したいんだ。それと、このアルバムに込められたみんなの限りない才能に、バケツいっぱいの感謝を送ります。これまでに聴いた部分に関しては、本当に素晴らしいとしか言いようがないし、残りの部分を聴くのが楽しみで待ちきれないよ。何週間か前だけど、アダムの歌のためにバストロンボーンの音をつけたんだ。僕のトロンボーンを持ってスタジオに行けたのは、もの凄く良い経験になったよ。簡単ではなかったけど、実際そうすることができて本当に嬉しく思っているんだ。スタジオのオーナーに電話して、レコーディングルームに車椅子で入ることが可能かどうかを尋ねた時に、彼の返事は『もちろんだよ。ドアはメチャクチャ幅が広いからね』ってことだったんだけど、実際行ってみたら踊り場を挟む2つの階段があってさ・・・。でも、確かにドアは十分広かったよ。なので、ちょっと筋肉を使う必要があったけど、そこに行く価値は十二分にあったな。

筋肉についてだけど…、今日現在、ここ21日間ほど毎日、Bikramヨーガ(を練習しているんだ。そして、これには驚くべきものであると実感しているよ。バランスが指数関数的に整ってきたし、脚の痙攣はほぼ止まったし、身体全体にわたって均等に汗もかけるし、そして、感覚レベルは1インチまで広がり、上部の腹筋もしっかり動いているよ。斜紋筋もすごく強くなっているし、腕なんかはちきれそうだよ! Bikramヨーガになじみがあるみんな、僕は立ってやるヨーガに関しては車椅子に乗ってやり、床でやるものは床でやるんだ。次にblogを更新する時に、これについては写真を掲載しなくちゃね。ヨーガをやっていると、Blast!の仲間と銀座のスタジオで練習していた時のメチャいい想い出が蘇ってくるよ。

幹細胞治療の資金援助に関して、Tom SanchezNaokoKazuyoに心から感謝している。ドルでもユーロでもポンドでもそして円でも、僕が座ったままの生活から抜け出すための治療にすごく役立つよ。もしも小銭に余裕があれば、引き続き募金してもらえると嬉しいな


そして、進展していると言えば… 低所得者医療扶助制度のための承認 (ついに)がおりたので、病院からの巨額な請求書で破産に追い込まれずに済むことになったし、数週間後にはリハビリに戻れるよ。 ヨーガの練習による機能増強により、脚の金具をつけた時に部屋中を吹っ飛ぶという懸念はなくなったよ。リハビリでそれを確かめるのがすごく楽しみだね。




15th Jan, 2009

January 14, 2009

Time has gone by fast over the holidays. I haven’t sent out an update in a month. Someday, I will get better at keeping everybody up to speed. However, school is starting next week, and I’ll only be getting busier. However, it will be a fantastic break from the boredom I experienced after getting out of the hospital.

Well, I was injured six months ago to the day and I still haven’t had any luck getting medicaid approved. Rehab was going well. Walking was great. I found a way to sneak into the therapy gym without signing in and getting stopped. But the hospital figured out what I was doing and they cancelled all of my future therapy appointments. I’ll start up again when medicaid is approved.

A big thanks to all of you who sent Christmas cards. The holidays here in Chicago were a great time. I had some family in town as well. It was my first Christmas at home in a few years, so it was a good time. However it doesn’t compare to the holidays I’ve spent on the road with friends the past few years.

Also, a big thanks to those of who contributed in the past month. Especially Mary Dakin, Chris Heasly, Ben Bolasny, Mike Baldassari, and anyone else who has helped out. You all are amazing. And as I always say, keep the love coming @

In my last blog I mentioned that I was looking for a car, and I bought one the very next day. It’s a 1999 Kia Sephia. It’s a bit of a beater. Only one door opens with a key. The seat belt is barely still in one piece, and it’s very loud. But it still runs, and it was a bargain. It only cost a quarter of what my wheelchair cost.

I was able to do the modifications and install hand controls all on my own. Everyone is curious how it works. It’s really simple. You pull to accelerate and push to brake. It took about a day to get used to. It’s kind of like driving in a video game. It’s very mechanical. It’s just two aluminum rods that attach to a handle at one end, and the pedals at the other. Here they are:

Having the car has been the most awesome freedom. I can go when I want, where I want. I don’t miss trains or busses in the least. Especially when there’s a foot of snow on the ground and it’s -12.

Until next time, stay warm…

peace, love and gratitude…


14th Dec, 2008

December 14, 2008


Happy holidays. As always, I’m not very good at updating things frequently. But things have been well. Rehab has been going great. A few weeks ago I got up into the walker, walked across the room and sat down, entirely unassisted. It’s something that seems so simple, but it’s still awesome for me to do. It’s nice to see your wheelchair on the other side of the room and know that you don’t have to butt-scoot across the floor to get to it.

Unfortunately, later that day I got a call from the rehab instituted that my insurance had exhausted it’s benefits, and since I have not yet been approved for Medicaid, I have been without physical therapy for a few weeks now. I still do what I can on my own, but without leg braces, it’s meant no more walking work. Hopefully I will be approved for Medicaid early in the year so I can get back to it.

Chicago is now a winter wonderland. Getting around in a wheelchair in the snow and ice is much more exciting than normal conditions, but it also takes much more effort. The city constantly neglects curb cutouts at intersections, so in order to get through the pile of ice, snow, and slop, a collapsable avalanche shovel is kept on the back of my wheelchair. And on that note, I have been car shopping, so I can minimize time wasted digging my way through intersections. I have my hand controls, and they’re wicked easy to put in and out of cars. So if anybody is looking to unload a car… let me know.

The trip to India for human embryonic stem cell therapy is looking better everyday. A big thanks to Lynda Lavin, Maya Inomata, and Jan Gamin. You guys are awesome. And as always, keep the love coming…

Other than all that, I’ve been getting ready to start classes again. I have a full course load with biology, chemistry, calculus, english, and jazz band. It will be nice to be busy again. I’ve also recently discovered how to bowl and play pool from a wheelchair. Pool is pretty much the same deal as standing, but bowling took some work to figure out. I push myself at full speed towards the lane, take the ball in both hands and throw it as hard as I can. It is loud, but effective.

I miss everybody tons, and I hope you all have an awesome holiday!

peace, love and gratitude…




ハッピーホリデイ。 毎度のことながら、どうもまめに更新できなくてダメだね。でも、色んなことが順調に進んでいるよ。リハビリもとても順調に進んでいるし、数週間前には、歩行補助機につかまって立って、部屋の向こう側まで歩いていき、何の介助も得ずに座ることができたんだ。とても簡単なことのように思えるだろうけど、こんなことができるなんて、僕にとってはものすごいことなんだ。部屋の向こう側にある車椅子に乗るために、向こう側まで尻歩きせずに済むってことが嬉しいよ。

残念なことに、その日のその後で、rehab instituteから電話がかかってきて、僕の保険の範囲で受けられる治療はもう受けつくしてしまい、申請している低所得者医療扶助制度の承認はまだおりていないし、今現在、この数週間、物理療法を受けられずにいるんだ。自分でできる限りのトレーニングは続けているけど、足につける補強金具がなければ歩行訓練をすることができない。年明け早々には医療扶助制度の承認がおりて、rehab instituteでのリハビリに戻れることを願うばかりだよ。

シカゴは今、冬のワンダーランドって感じだよ。 雪の中、凍った道を車椅子で動くのは、いつもよりもかなりエキサイティングだけど、同時にすごい根気とエネルギーが必要なんだ。 都市の交差点では、当たり前のように縁石の設置が無視されているから、交差点を渡るためには氷の山、雪、そして泥をも除ける、強力なシャベルをいつも車椅子の後ろに入れているよ。これについては、車の購入を検討中なんだけど、これによって交差点を掘り進む無駄な時間を削減できると思うんだ。車の乗り降りが楽にできる手で操作するコントローラーは既に持っているんだけど、だれか車を売ろうと思っている人がいたら、声かけてね。

ヒト胚性幹細胞療法のためのインドへの旅は、日に日に現実味が増してきているよ。Lynda LavinMaya InomataJan Gamin、心から感謝しています。みんな、本当にありがとう。





21st Nov, 2008

November 20, 2008


I’m not good at updating very often. I’ll do better in the future. I’ve been staying plenty busy the past three weeks. I’ve been going downtown for physical therapy. The commute is longer than I expected; it takes two busses, two trains, and two hours, each way. And my four hour round trip commute is for only 45 minutes of therapy. And the rehab institute is very overbooked, so I’m only getting one session per week, but I have been making the best of it. I was up in leg braces between the parallel bars on the first day. The following session I was going back and forth between the bars. The last session I spent getting in and out of the wheelchair and up to a walker. Today they let me lose in the walker, walking freely. My therapist set a long term goal for me to be able to go 50 feet without resting. On my first attempt today I made it 150 feet! So I think I will have one more therapy session in the walker, and then I’ll start using canes or crutches. Ideally, I’ll be wheelchair free within the next few months. And the best part about standing for extended time periods is that I can be flatulent once again!

Fundraising has been going well. Still a slow pace, but a steady pace, so it’s all good. Big thanks to Naoko Goto, Maki Yamada, Matt Finger, James Arnold, Mariko, Chad Forth and Mike Baldassari. You guys are all awesome and I can’t thank you enough.

I’ve had a few visitors, so I haven’t been too bored. My good friend Yoko came from Japan to visit and we explored the downtown Chicago area and ate lots of good food. As soon as Yoko left my awesome friends Wes and Marissa came into town to hang out. We spent alot of time downtown. We saw the musical Wicked, ate great food all over the city, and walked/rolled over five miles downtown one night. So I was sore.

Other than fundraising and spending time with friends, I’ve been registering for classes at a community college to get ready for school in the fall. I’m taking a full course load with biology, chemistry, calculus, and Japanese. Hopefully, those classes will take care of my boredom problems.

Also, if anybody reading this knows of any music writing gigs, I’m always looking. Drum corps, marching bands, winter guards, etc…

Until next time…

love, peace and gratitude…




まめにblogを更新するのは、どうも苦手みたいなんだな。今後はもうちょっと更新できるように頑張るよ。 ここ3週間ばかり、かなり忙しく過ごしていたんだ。物理療法を受ける為にダウンタウンに通っているんだ。通院は、想像していたよりもずいぶん時間がかかり; 2本のバスと2本の電車を乗り継いで片道2時間もかかってしまうんだ。45分の治療を受ける為に、往復4時間もだよ。それにリハビリ施設はいつも予約でいっぱいいっぱいな状態で、1週間あたり1つの訓練しか受けることができないんだ。でも、なんとかこの状態で頑張ってみているよ。訓練初日は足に補助器具を付けて、平行棒につかまって立った。 その次の回では平行棒につかまりながら前後に進んだよ。そして前回は車椅子の乗り降りと歩行器につくまでの練習をした。今日は歩行器につかまったままの状態で放っておかれ、自由に歩いたよ。僕の療法士さんは僕のために、休息なしで50フィート進めるようになることを長期目標として立ててたんだけど、今日の最初の試みで、既に僕は150フィートに達しちゃったんだ!もう一回歩行器の訓練をして、そして次は杖か松葉杖の訓練を始めることになるかな。理想としては、ここ数ヶ月以内に車椅子なしでいられるようになりたいんだ。立っていられる時間を延ばすことの最大の役割は、もう一度どうだいって感じで胸を張ることができるようになるってことかな!

資金集めは順調に進んでいるよ。依然ゆっくりではあるけれど、安定して寄付も寄せられているんだ。Maki YamadaMatt FingerJames ArnoldMarikoChad ForthMike BaldassariNaoko、みんなどうも有り難う。みんなすごくイイ人達ばかりで、とても感謝の気持ちを言い尽くせないよ。

ここのところ、数名の友人が訪ねてくれていたので、しばらくはそんなに時間を持て余すことなく楽しく過ごせたよ。親友のYokoが日本から訪ねてくれて、一緒にシカゴのダウンタウンを探索したり、美味しいものをいっぱい食べて楽しんだんだ。 Yokoが帰った後は、僕のスゴイ友人達、WesMarissaが訪ねてくれたんだ。 僕たちはダウンタウンで長い時間楽しんだよ。ミュージカルの“Wicked”を観たし、街中で美味しい食事を楽しんだし、ある晩なんか、ダウンタウンで5マイルも転がして歩いたんだ。 ちょっと痛かったけどね。

資金集めと友人と過ごした時間以外では、秋からの学校の準備をする為に、コミュニティカレッジの授業に登録したよ。 生物学、化学、微積分学、それに日本語と、めいっぱいコースを取るんだ。 願わくば、これらの授業が僕を退屈から救ってくれるといいんだけどな。




31st Oct, 2008

October 31, 2008



Today is the day I was supposed to be discharged from the hospital downtown. So it’s only fitting that today is the day that I was discharged from outpatient rehab. I will continue to get physical therapy for rehab, but no more occupational therapy. I’ll be going back downtown to the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago’s main building. So three days per week I’ll have an hour and a half commute each way for one hour of therapy. More time to read medical textbooks…

About a week ago I got a racing wheelchair. So that has been fun. There’s not really anyplace good nearby to get out in it, but I’ve been taking it around the block a few times everyday. Another great find on ebay.


Team Fu Manchu Racing

Team Fu Manchu Racing


Fundraising is still slow but steady. A BIG thanks to Kazuyo Zenno. And always, please keep the love coming…

I’ve been applying to several schools for the fall. There’s a few places I could end up. And I’ll start taking some basic classes in January at a nearby community college. 

Things with India are coming along relatively well. The only thing that is slowing me down is the lack of funds. Tentatively I’ll shoot for going over there in March. If the fundraising allows me to, March would be great, because the Delhi extreme summer heat wouldn’t have settled in yet, and it would put me there at the same time as three other Americans, who are also there right now! I’d have to recommend checking out their progress on their blogs… miracles are happening.

Things are very exciting. Thank you everybody for your continued support. I really have the best friends in the world.


peace, love, and gratitude…










今日はダウンタウンの病院への通院が終了するはずの日。思ったとおり、通院患者用のリハビリを終える日になったってわけだ。作業療法はもうこれで終わりだけど、物理療法は続けるよ。ダウンタウンのRehabilitation Institute of Chicagoの本館に戻ることになる。週に3日、1時間の療法を受ける為に、毎回1時間半の通院。勉強の為の医学参考書を読むよりも、長い時間かもね…



Team Fu Manchu Racing

Fu Manchuレーシングチーム


Ms.Kazuyo Zenno(禅野 和代)に心から感謝です。そして引き続き、愛ある寄付をお願いします…




インドに関しては、現実味を増してきているよ。資金不足の点だけが、唯一引っかかっていて計画を遅らせているけどね。仮の予定だけど、3月にむこうに行くことを目指すつもり。 もしも、資金繰りさへ整えば、3月の渡印がベストだと思うんだ。どうしてかって言うと、デリーの驚異的な夏の暑さはまだ到来していないだろうし、今現在デリーの施設にいる他の3人のアメリカ人と同時期に、そこにいられることになるしね!彼らのblogで、彼らの治療の経過をチェックしてみて欲しいな・・・奇跡が起こっているから。







23rd Oct, 2008

October 22, 2008

Hey everybody,

This article was published last Friday in the Des Plaines Journal: ,

A Challenging Ride

Resident’s World Travels End In Tragic Accident


Lifestyle Editor

Des Plaines resident Mike Welch has cycled throughout the United States while performing with the Broadway tour of “Blast.” He has cycled down Mt. Fuji and across the state of Alaska. He is a 26-year-old musician, loves yoga, has the heart and soul of an adventurist and is an expert unicyclist.

Welch is also living through the greatest challenge of his life after a serious accident.

Welch began his life in the San Francisco Bay area and moved to southern Colorado with his family when he was six. He learned how to play the trombone at seven and got his first mountain bike and taste for outdoor adventure when he was nine.

Moving to northern Indiana introduced Welch to boredom. The lack of outdoor activities led him to get into trouble, but he managed to get through school and do well studying music. Welch graduated and was accepted into a few schools on a music scholarship. Then came his involvement in drum and bugle corps.

He attended various universities and then could no longer afford a private school tuition. For over a month, he lived in his car. Then came a break. He received a call from a music teacher informing him about a gig with the show “Blast.” He was thrilled to learn he got the job.

“The show ‘Blast’ is where musicians play their instrument while performing choreography,” said Welch. “When I joined the company I weighed about 285 pounds. To make myself more valuable, I learned how to ride the unicycle and play trombone.”

Welch began unicycling where he was touring and became an off road unicycler. He was losing weight while traveling to 88 cities and performing in 200 shows that tour. After his first Blast tour, he taught an all girl Canadian drum and bugle corps, got married and worked on a cruise ship playing the trombone, lifted weights and learned yoga.

“Very shortly after getting off the ship I started rehearsals for my second tour of ‘Blast,’ this time touring Japan. Being in Japan was awesome,” he said. “It was probably the best time of my life. Also while in Japan in 2007, I became the first person to unicycle the decent of Mt. Fuji.”

His absence ended his marriage. He counted the days until the next Blast tour and practiced yoga. While the cast moved on to San Antonio, Welch would return to Japan over the summer.

In May 2008, he unicycled over a 1,000 miles across the Alaskan wilderness in 22 days, pushed himself beyond his limits, got frostbite and hypothermia, nearly froze to death and was nearly killed by a grizzly bear. After recovering, he returned to Blast2 rehearsals and flew to Japan. The first day in Tokyo was great. On the second day the cast took the train to Matsumoto and enjoyed a beautiful ride through the mountains. He had one of his best riding sessions unicycling that afternoon.

On July 14, a new challenge changed his life.

“My two best friends in the cast and myself were going to get sushi for dinner that night, but the place we went to the summer before was closed so we decided to go riding and off we went.” Welch said that he used a hotel bicycle. “We probably spent about an hour riding up into the hills outside of Matsumoto that night. They were very steep hills. When our legs couldn’t go anymore we sat in the dark and debated politics, religion and more.”

“Then we started to head down the mountain. After about a minute it became very clear that the breaks on my bike didn’t work. I was completely out of control on a very steep hill. Both my feet were pressed into the ground as hard as possible, and I couldn’t go any slower. My friend in front of me went off the road because he couldn’t make a turn, and I went right off after him, over a three-foot embankment. I flipped once, landed on my back, flipped again and then face planted hard enough to completely shatter two vertebrae.”

Welch was conscious the entire time. He recalls being put into the ambulance and going to the hospital. His company manager acted as a translator in the emergency room. He quickly learned he was paralyzed. He went into surgery to stabilize his spine three days later. The surgery went well and he began rehab the next day. He recalls how difficult the first week was not being able to sit up or eat. It was his Blast cast member friends that helped him through the first week in the hospital. Anger motivated him to push himself to sit upright. Shortly after, he was transferred into a wheelchair and was able to go outside and later home.

Rehab has gone well. He’s looking into traveling to Delhi, India, to receive human embryonic stem cell therapy. His Blast cast friends are creating a CD with their own music, which will be professionally produced as a fundraiser.

Welch hopes to study neurobiology in the future.

In all honesty the article is not what I was hoping for. The writing is not that strong, and if it interested anybody who would be willing to help me out… they have no way of contacting me. I was hoping for more, but sometimes things just don’t go your way. If nothing else, there is humor involved because out of all of my photos on facebook, she writer chose one of me surrounded by some of the most gorgeous women in the world (thanks ladies.)

Fundraising is picking up speed a little. Special thanks to Aaron Goldberg, Jeremy Deaton, Brian Benson, and Robert “silent Bob” Conley. You guys are frickin’ awesome. India is getting closer. Keep the love coming @

And speaking of India, Dr. Geeta Shroff is tentatively coming to Colorado in December to raise awareness of embryonic stem cell therapy and research.

I found out Monday that I am being kicked out of the rehab program that I am currently in. I met the goals I needed to be discharged far too fast. I have alot more work that I would like to do. I will be visiting Empathy rehab next week, and I may even return to the Rehab Institute of Chicago’s downtown location on an outpatient basis. They have a Lokomat there too. One of the two will work out.

love, peace and gratitude…



この記事は先週の金曜日(10/17)に Des Plaines Journalで発表されました :

l A Challenging Ride



Des Plaines在住のマイク・ウェルチは、ブロードウェイ・ツアーの“Blast”に出演しながら、アメリカ中を自転車で回っていました。彼は富士山を一輪車で下ったり、アラスカ州まで自転車で渡ったりしていました。 彼は26歳のミュージシャンであり、ヨガを愛し、冒険者としての精神と魂をもち、一輪車の名人でもあります。


ウェルチは、サンフランシスコのベイエリアで生まれ、彼が6歳の時に家族と共に南コロラドに移りました。 彼は7歳の時にトロンボーンの吹き方を教わり、9歳の時に初めてのマウンテンバイクを手に入れ、アウトドアでの冒険という趣味を持つことになりました。

北インディアナへの移転は、ウェルチを退屈させました。 屋外での様々なアクティビティの欠乏は、彼にトラブルをもたらしましたが、彼は学校に通い、音楽の学業に勤しみました。
ウェルチは卒業してから、音楽奨学生としていくつかの学校から受け入れられました。 彼のドラムコーとの関わりは、ここからきています。

様々な大学に通ったので、もうそれ以上、私立の学校の授業料を都合することができませんでした。ひと月以上、彼は車上生活を続けていました。そして、変化が起こりました。 彼は音楽の先生から、“Blast”というショーへの参加について連絡を受けました。彼は仕事に就けることを知り、ゾクゾクしました。

“‘Blast’というショーでは、ミュージシャンが振り(パフォーマンス)付きで楽器を演奏するんだ。”と、ウェルチは言います。 “僕がこのカンパニーに加わった時の体重は、285ポンドもあったんだよ。自分の価値をもっと高めるために、どうやって一輪車に乗ってトロンボーンを吹くかを学んだ。”

ウェルチは、ツアー中に一輪車に乗り始め、オフロードの一輪車乗りになりました。 彼は、88都市を巡り200回のショーに出演し、体重を落としました。初めてのBlastツアーの後に、彼は女性だけで構成されているカナダのドラムコーで指導をし、結婚し、クルーズ船でトロンボーンを演奏して働きました。そしてウェイトリフティングのトレーニングを積み、ヨガを学びました。

“クルーズ船を降りた直後に、2度目となる今度は日本への‘Blast’ツアーのリハーサルに入った。日本へのツアーは最高だったよ。” と彼は話します。 “たぶん、一生で一番良い時だったかもしれない。そして、2007年に日本に行っている間に、僕は富士山を一輪車で下った最初の人物にもなったんだ。”

彼の不在は彼の結婚を終わらせました。 彼は、次のBlastツアーを指折り数えて心待ちにし、そしてヨガの訓練に勤しみました。キャストはサンアントニオに移りましたが、ウェルチは夏の間日本に戻ることになりました。

20085月に、22日間、1,000マイルを超えるアラスカの荒野へと一輪車で旅しました。限界を超え、凍傷と低体温症にかかり、凍死寸前になったり、ハイイログマに殺されそうになったりもしました。旅の疲れから回復した後、彼はBlast2のリハーサルに戻り、そして日本に旅立ちました。 東京での1日目はすばらしく、2日目はキャストは電車で松本に移動し、美しい山々の景色を楽しみました。その日の午後、彼は最高のうちの1つに数えることができるような、素晴らしい一輪車サイクリングを楽しみました。


“その晩、親友のキャスト2人と、夕食に寿司を手に入れようと出かけたんだ。でも、昨年訪れたその寿司店は営業しておらず、それで僕たちは自転車で出かけることにした。”ウェルチは、ホテルの自転車を使用したと言いました。 “その晩、松本市外の丘を駆け上がるのに、1時間くらい費やしたと思う。丘はどれも急だったな。脚が辛くてそれ以上進めなくなったので、暗闇に座り、政治や宗教やその他のことについて、しばらく3人で語っていたんだ。”


ウェルチにはずっと意識がありました。彼は救急車で運ばれ、病院に行ったことを思い出します。 彼のカンパニー・マネージャーが救急治療室で通訳を務めました。彼は、麻痺してしまったことを早々に悟りました。3日後、背骨を安定させるための手術を受けました。手術は成功し、翌日からリハビリを始めました。彼は、きちんと座ることができず、食べることができなかった最初の1週間がどんなに辛かったかを思い出します。病院で、辛い1週間目を支えたのは、Blastキャスト陣の友達たちでした。彼の憤りは、きちんと座ることができるように彼を動機付けました。まもなく、彼は車椅子で外出できるようになり、そしてその後アメリカの家へ帰ることができました。




資金集めについては、ちょっと進展があった。Aaron GoldbergJeremy DeatonBrian Benson、そしてRobertsilent BobConley、心から感謝しています。あなた達は本当に本当に素晴らしい人たちです。インドが近づいてきています。これからも愛ある寄付をお願いします。

そして、インドについての話だけど、Dr. Geeta Shroffは、12月に胚幹細胞療法と研究について提起する為に、コロラドに来る予定でいるらしい。

月曜日に、今受けているリハビリが終わることがわかった。目指していたゴールに到達し、はるかに速く終わることになった。もっとやりたいことがたくさんあるんだ。来週Empathyリハビリを訪ね、そしてダウンタウンにあるRehab Institute of Chicagoの通院用施設に戻るかもしれない。そこにもLokomatがあるんだよね。どちらかに決める予定だよ。



16th Oct, 2008

October 16, 2008


So I finally got my definite wheelchair. It’s really nice and really light, weighing in at about 16 pounds. I was excited to get it, but at the same time…it is a wheelchair. But serious thanks go out to those who contributed the past few months. Here it is:

Rehab continues to frustrate me. I’ve been meeting the goals they set for me too quickly, so now it looks as if I may be discharged from the program earlier than expected. Which is nice, but at the same time disappointing, because I haven’t reached my own goals yet. Not by a long shot. But there is a private rehab facility near me that is quite a bit more aggressive and progressive than the program I’m in now. It’s called Empathy Rehab, and they have one of only a few dozen machines in the country known is the Lokomat ( It’s a machine that simply re-trains your legs muscles by literally walking for you. The Lokomat has helped patients re-grow and re-train nerves, increase bone strength, increase circulation, and reduce spasticity.

I saw my surgeon downtown at Northwestern Memorial Hospital yesterday. My vertebrae are fusing well, and the rods and screws that the surgeons in Japan put in are staying in place, so that is very good news.

Fundraising for embryonic stem cell therapy in India is a slow process. It is frustrating, boring, and tiring. But also very necessary to get myself back on two feet, so I devote a good portion of the day to it. A current thanks is in order to Alden Sparks and Naoko Goto for their contributions this week. Naoko has also translated all of into Japanese and the Japanese version of the website should be up soon. So thank you to Naoko and Mike Wille!

My long time friend and frequent tour roommate Andrew Smith paid me a visit over the last couple of days. Beers were drank and there was much laughing.

Other than that the big news is that I was interviewed by the Des Plaines Journal yesterday. Thanks to Lynda Lavin for setting up the interview. I just spoke with the reporter, and my story will be on the front page, and take up most of the page! So hopefully that will generate support as well.

I hate to keep asking everyone I know about this, but I know I have to: If you can spare a couple bucks, please do.   Thank You.

peace, love, and gratitude…




ついに、僕の待望の車椅子が届いたよ。 すごく良い椅子だし、およそ16ポンドと軽いんだ。やっと手に入れることができて嬉しいけど、でも同時に・・・やっぱりこれは車椅子なんだよね・・・。いや、でも本当に、ここ数ヶ月寄付など協力してくれたみんな、みんなの親切に心から感謝です。 これを見て:

リハビリには、最近ガッカリしているんだ。 療法士さんが設定した目標を、僕はかなり早めにこなしてきているので、予定よりも早く、このリハビリのプログラムが終わってしまいそうなんだ。それは良いことでもあるけれども、同時に僕にとっては僕自身のリハビリの目標にはまだ到達していないので、満足できないんだ。まだ全然達してないよ。でも、近くに僕が今やっているプログラムより、もっとガンガンに進歩的な内容の個人的なリハビリ施設があるんだ。 それはEmpathy Rehabと呼ばれていて、そこには米国内でも数台しかないLokomatというマシンが設置されている( )。そのマシンは文字通り、シンプルに歩くことによって足の筋力を再訓練するんだ。Lokomatは、患者の神経の再生と再訓練、骨の強度の増進、循環円滑、そして痙攣を減少させるのを助けるマシンなんだ。

昨日、Northwestern Memorial Hospitalの外科の先生に会った。日本の外科の先生方が適所に治めてくれた僕の脊椎骨は、しっかり融合しているそうだよ。すごく良いニュースだよね。

インドでの胚幹細胞療法に関して、資金集めに手間取っているよ。いらだたしく、愉快なことではないし、疲れるよ。 でも、僕がまた2フィート(身長)の自分を取り戻すためには、どうしても必要なことなんだ。だから、その為に一日の大半をこれに費やしている。今週のAlden Sparksとゴトウナオコの協力に感謝している。ナオコがwww.mikewelch.orgを日本語に翻訳してくれた(英語が得意ではないので、上手に正確に翻訳できてなくてゴメンなさい。byナオコ)ので、僕のウェブサイトの日本語版が間もなくアップできる予定なんだ。ナオコとMike Wille、ありがとう

長い友達で、ツアーのルームメイトでもあったAndrew Smith は、何日間か僕を訪ねてくれたんだ。ビールを飲んで、そしてたくさん笑ったよ。

スクープだよ!昨日Des Plaines Journalからインタビューを受けたんだ。インタビューをセットしてくれたLynda Lavin、どうもありがとう。 レポーターと話しをして、僕の話が一面に載って、紙面の多くに掲載されるらしい!それが支援につながることを願いたいな。

既に何度もお願いしているみんなに、こんなことを何度もお願いし続けるのは本当に心苦しくていやなんだけど、そうしなければならないことを許して欲しい。2ドルでも3ドルでも構わないので、もしも余裕があったら への寄付をお願いします。 みんな、どうもありがとう。