Featured Recipient: Mike Fritschner
Michael Fritschner – Bell Canyon, CA
University of Southern California – Sophomore- Spring 2013
Mike was born in Houston, Texas but the family moved to Southern California where he attended Chaminade High School. As a child, Mike competed in swimming and soccer and in High School he concentrated on football and basketball. He was the freshman football team captain and MVP and was selected as varsity quarterback for his sophomore season. The following summer, the Fritschner family took a Hawaiian Island cruise. On June 14, 2006 the ship arrived in Kona and Mike and his dad Walter signed up for surfing lessons and took a van out to a secluded surf spot. After 45 minutes of instruction and warm up activities and failed attempts to catch a wave Mike caught his first wave and stood up for a few short seconds. That was the last time he would stand unaided. He fell off the board and realized that he had no feeling in his legs. He was rushed to the local hospital then Medevac’d to Queens Hospital in Honolulu. After spending nine days at Queens he was taken to Northridge Hospital where he spent the next three months. By this time, Mike’s sophomore year was about to start and he made a deal with his Doctor which allowed him to attend two classes each day and participate in rehabilitation at the hospital all afternoon. During the Christmas break he attended Kennedy Krieger at Johns Hopkins for two weeks and he continues to rehab there three times per year for two weeks at a time. While his dreams of playing college and professional football were shattered Mike refocused and served as manager of the Varsity Basketball Team, Athletic Commissioner, Homecoming King and Student Body President. Mike continues to attend Kennedy Krieger at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Maryland three times per year in an attempt to recover his spinal cord injury. Mike was just appointed President of Phi Sigma Kappa, a social fraternity that is just returning to campus. He has also picked up swimming as a sport and is training to get better. Mike is interested in pursuing a career in politics or business.
This is part of a series of Swim With Mike blog posts featuring different scholarship recipients throughout the year. Get to know all the scholarship recipients by clicking “Recipients” at the top of the page.