Doctor Dedicated To Empowering Others With Disabilities Receives $1 Million Surprise

October 21, 2022

A doctor at the University of Michigan received a huge gift from the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation -- an organization that's committed to changing the world for those living with spinal cord injuries.

doctor $1 million surprise
Dr. Feranmi Okanlami / Credit: Good Morning America / Facebook

In 2013, Feranmi Okanlami was on his way to becoming an orthopedic surgeon but his dreams were almost derailed after sustaining a spinal cord injury at a Fourth of July pool party.

Despite breaking his neck and becoming paralyzed from the neck down, the former all-American track star never doubted he'd be able to live a productive and independent life.

doctor $1 million surprise
Credit: Good Morning America / Facebook

Okanlami has since dedicated his life to helping others with disabilities.

He is the Director of Student Accessibility and Accommodation Services at the University of Michigan, where he oversees the office of Services for Students with Disabilities, two Testing Accommodation Centers, and the Adaptive Sports & Fitness Program.

Okanlami has made it his mission to build the adaptive sports and fitness program to inspire students like wheelchair tennis athlete Caiden Baxter and others to find their joy again.

"I love being able to show people that people in chairs and with disabilities are able to play high level athletics and I love the fact that I'm able to play sports period," Baxter told Good Morning America. "It's because he has shown me that that's possible."

On Thursday morning, Good Morning America surprised Okanlami on campus with $1 million from the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation.

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