This is Mikey
Mikey’s League was founded with a powerful objective: to challenge the limits placed on children with disabilities and allow them to inspire and teach us. We believe in the power of sport, and its moments of triumph, to unify, heal, and provide the confidence needed to be successful in life, regardless of challenges.
To allow all kids to play, regardless of ability. Through adapted, unified sport create an opportunity to experience triumph and success in a way that they will remember forever.
Michael “Mikey” Bender was born with cerebral palsy and a backwards heart. Doctors told his family that he would never be able to walk and would not live past the age of three. This picture is of Mikey proving how strong he really was.
Mikey was passionate about sports and did not let his disabilities hold him back. Even though there were no intramural programs for him, he played backyard sports with his brothers and their friends. Those games became some of the best, and most enduring memories for both Mikey and his family.
Mikey passed in 2008 at the age of 21. It is in honor of his legacy that we established Mikey’s League with a mission to create lasting memories and share Mikey’s love of sport.
Mikey’s League was formed by childhood friends, Karl Bender and Scott Freeman. We are continually inspired by Mikey and aim to challenge the idea that kids with disabilities need to be treated differently. We want to expand Mikey’s backyard football experience to the Valley, and in doing so provide opportunities for the community to come together in seeing how strong it can be.