Driven to Ride: A True Story

by Annette Pinder

Recently, Mike Schultz, a paralympic silver medalist and author, was featured at a book event sponsored by People Inc. Mike’s book Driven to Ride: The True Story of an Elite Athlete Who Rebuilt His Leg, His Life, and His Career, documents his amazing story.

In 2008, Mike suffered a life-changing knee injury during a snowmobile competition that resulted in the amputation of his left leg above the knee. Seven months later, determined to compete again, Mike realized that available prosthetics could not handle the competitive rigorous sports to which his body was accustomed. He responded, not by giving up, but by engineering his own durable and versatile mechanical knee using a patented linkage system and a FOX mountain bike shock. Realizing the need for advancements in high-impact adaptive sports prosthetics, Matt founded BioDapt, Inc. in 2010. The company helps wounded soldiers, action sports athletes, and amputees who want to return to an active lifestyle.

Mike was named to the U.S. paralympic team in 2018 and competed in snowboard boardercross and banked slalom, and finished the season as the overall champion in both disciplines, winning gold and silver in Korea. He also provided 15 athletes from six different countries with his prosthetic equipment, which resulted in the athletes earning a combined 11 medals because of wearing the BioDapt equipment. The U.S. team voted Schultz as the U.S. flag bearer for the 2018 paralympic opening ceremony. Then, in July 2018, Mike won the ESPY award for best male with a disability.

Attendees had the opportunity to hear directly from Mike and his award-winning journalist co-author Matt Higgins, who resides in Amherst, New York. The fact that all of this took place at People Inc.’s new state-of-the-art rehabilitation services center located in North Buffalo made it even more special.

People Inc.’s rehabilitation services center focuses on individuals with disabilities as they provide patients with help in addressing strength, movement, balance, coordination, and communication to enhance their life experiences. The center also provides physical therapy for developmental and neurological disorders; orthopedic problems and injuries; chronic and acute neck and back pain; impaired mobility, balance, and gait dysfunction; and stroke, traumatic brain injuries, and amputation rehabilitation. Individuals are also helped with adaptive and assistive device assessments, including wheelchairs, walkers, canes, and braces.

Other services offered at the rehabilitation center include occupational therapy, including for those with sensory, perceptual, and cognitive disorders, difficulties with self-care tasks, and so much more. The center’s speech and language services include treatment of communication disorders related to both developmental disabilities and many other speech and vocal disorders. People Inc.’s wheelchair clinic works with local vendors to provide evaluations for new wheelchairs with seating systems, and adjustments to existing chairs and repairs. Wheelchair clinics take place twice weekly.

People Inc.’s Rehabilitative Services and Social Work Center was the perfect setting for Mike’s story of overcoming adversity to achieve success. The center is located at 800 Hertel Avenue at the corner of Elmwood and Hertel. To make an appointment call 716-566-5050. Learn more at