Although multiple sclerosis left him paralyzed from the neck down since 1980, Michael Sullivan never let the disease slow him down.
He served as an inspiration to many, visiting people in the hospital, talking with those recently diagnosed with the disease, working with many support groups and helping to organize the Northwest Indiana MS walk, said Gloria Sullivan, his wife of almost 30 years.
“He never let the MS get him down,” she said. “We were too busy being involved and doing things. He was always out in the world.”
Michael Sullivan, 73, of Munster, died Nov. 26. He was a graduate of Bishop Noll and earned his master’s degree from Indiana University. He had been an Army veteran, serving in the military police.
Sullivan, who was first diagnosed with MS in 1966, was known for his jokes and his good sense of humor. He was wonderful with computers, and used technology to help him keep in contact with friends all over the world.
Although the couple never had children, they loved spending time with their nieces and nephews, taking them to movies and to the zoo.
Shortly before his death, Sullivan learned he would be able to be a skin donor. He also was pleased to learn his brain would be studied by MS researchers, his wife said.
“He was a big believer in organ donation, but his internal organs weren’t usable and they could only use his skin,” she said. “But he was beyond himself that they could use his skin and study his brain. He gave of himself until the last second, and he went out smiling.”