Ashton Kutcher’s twin brother Michael opened up to Us Weekly about his struggle living with cerebral palsy, and how the strong bond with his brother has helped him carry on.
At 13-years-old, Michael Kutcher was diagnosed with viral cardiomyopathy, which causes the heart to grow up to four sizes of a normal one. At the time, Michael and the Kutcher family were advised that the young man had only weeks to live, and he went into cardiac arrest shortly thereafter. While waiting for a donor heart to arrive, Michael revealed that his twin brother, That 70’s Show actor Ashton Kutcher, told Michael that he wished he could give him his own heart.
“It’s a connection that you can’t explain. In all seriousness, we’re just very connected … It’s an honor or deep appreciation and a deep love for someone who would sacrifice that for you. I really can’t put words to it,” Michael revealed to Us of his strong bond with Ashton.
Though the brothers shared that intimate moment as teenagers, Michael said that he and Ashton go back and forth about Michael’s feelings about the actor feeling sorry for him. The healthier twin, Ashton, has found success as an actor — but Michael revealed he has found his purpose through spreading advocacy and awareness for those who are awaiting a donor organ, and for those who share a similar illness.
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Why am I wearing a Big Red Bow? Because I'm The Gift, and you can #BeTheGift too! 27 years ago a heart transplant saved my life, but not everyone is as lucky. 20 people die each day waiting for an organ because not enough people are registered. If you’re an organ donor or would like to register, go to www.BeTheGiftToday.com and share your Bow with the world. #bethegift #organdonation
“I think his quote of [how] not everyone’s not created equally, I think that goes back to him feeling sorry for me at a point. He’s right. We aren’t created equally, whether it be a disability or a health issue or whether it be anything, ethnicity, sex. We’re just not created equally. If we were, what’s cool about that? I don’t really like to use the word disability, I like to use the word giftability because we’re all created different,” Michael said.
He also went on to say that though folks may think he got the wrong end of the stick with his disability, he thinks he got the right one. His illness and subsequent transplant have launched him into a life of helping others who may not have been as fortunate as him, and he has been able to become an outspoken advocate for those living with life-threatening disabilities.
Michael, who recently celebrated 27 years of living with his transplant heart, resides in Colorado with his 14-year-old son, and a girlfriend who has two young children of her own. They recently enjoyed celebrating the holidays together and are building a new, blended family of their own. He is very active in the Be The Gift campaign, which calls on people to register to become organ and tissue donors to help save the lives of people just like Michael, who are awaiting an organ donation.