Paralyzed 19-Year-Old Aims for Indy500

Michael Johnson, who is only 19, has a lofty goal: He hopes to be the first paralyzed driver to compete in the Indy500.

This year he will take a step toward that goal by competing in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda this year. The race is the first step on the Road to Indy, an open-wheeled development program for drivers seeking a professional racing career.

He has secured a corporate sponsorship with Coloplast North America, a provider of ostomy, urology, continence, and wound and skin care products. Coloplast will provide financial support for the racing team, and Johnson’s car and gear will sport the Coloplast and SpeediCath logos.

Johnson was paralyzed from mid-chest down after a spinal cord injury during a dirt-track motorcycle competition when he was 14. His car will be modified with hand controls, and he will use medical devices, such as the SpeediCath, to make driving possible.

"Coloplast's mission is to improve patient quality of life. Michael Johnson embodies that mission. He is redefining the sport and erasing boundaries, proving that with the right mix of innovation and passion, any obstacle can be overcome," said Tom Remmel, SpeediCath product manager.

"I sincerely appreciate Coloplast's support in pursuing my dream," Johnson said. "Their sponsorship fuels my team's aim to advance to the IndyCar series, and SpeediCath gives me the convenience and freedom to focus on my training."

Find out more about Johnson here.