Driven: A remarkable story of tragedy, triumph and faith

Mike Cafferty

On September 29, 1988, eighteen-year-old Mike Cafferty was cruising the streets of Chicago’s
South Side after midnight with his buddies. Like millions of teenagers, he thought he was invincible.
Quicker than a flash, his life changed forever. Mike woke up in a hospital with screws in his head,
surrounded by his family, including his stoic father and hysterical mother. Once a champion
swimmer, Mike was told he’d lost use of his body from his shoulders down. He would be a
quadriplegic for life.

Driven is the gripping, funny, inspirational memoir of that devastating night and the courageous days
and years that follow. From the lowest of lows to the highest of highs, Driven takes readers on a
rollercoaster ride of devastation and despair, alcoholism, love and loss, and ultimately perseverance,
achievement, faith and family.

Along the way, Driven shows the incomprehensible challenges those with severe disabilities face as
it inspires anyone to overcome obstacles in their own lives.

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Mike Cafferty

Mike Cafferty is a quadriplegic, paralyzed from the shoulders down from a car accident in
September, 1988. He uses a sip-and-puff wheelchair to ambulate; a voice-activated computer
program to type and utilize his computer; and a mouth stick to turn pages, write, dial and answer the

Cafferty is a lifelong resident of Chicago, growing up Catholic on the city’s South Side with two
sisters and immigrant parents from Ireland. After his accident, he first attended Junior college then
graduated from the University of Illinois. He later graduated from DePaul University College of Law
and is currently an attorney for the Cook County Public Guardian’s Office in Chicago assisting
mentally incompetent clients with their personal and financial affairs. He is also a member of the
Chicago Bar Association and the Illinois Spinal Cord Injury Association. Cafferty lives on Chicago’s
Near West Side with his wife of ten years and two adorable children. He was recently diagnosed with
stage IV colon and liver cancer and is currently receiving chemotherapy.

“Replacing self-pity with a wicked sense of humor and a relentless drive to live his best life, Mike has
accomplished more without using his arms and legs than most people do with two of each. Driven
will make you laugh, cry and see your life in a whole new way.”—David Henry Sterry, author of
Chicken: Self-Portrait of a Young Man for Rent