Great State: ‘I Am Going to Make It’, Said MS Survivor Who Hiked the Grand Canyon on Crutches

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OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA -- Micheal Dye's marks his walking pace with two worn, metal crutches scratching on asphalt, step by painful step.

It's been 30 years since doctors diagnosed him with Multiple Sclerosis.

He spent most of the past 8 years in a wheel chair.

He doesn't look like he could make the mile oval on pavement around Oklahoma City's Bluff Creek Park, but he's already proven he could do much, much more.

"It's not so much looking at it like torture," he says of getting around and accomplishing goals. "It's more about being in God's creation."

Dye started talking about hiking the Grand Canyon rim to rim about a year ago.

His friend Stan Spears, who'd made that hike before, told him there was no way at first.

Stan recalls, "I said, 'no way'. Don't even think about it."

Mike recalls, "By the time we finished our conversation he'd said, 'okay, I'll go'."

Stan eventually spoke with another experienced hiker and friend Mat Jones.

He agreed to help too.

"At first I thought, 'a 30 mile hike. It's not really that challenging'," said Mat. "Boy, was I wrong."

There were long lines of friends and National Park Department rangers who told Mike not to try his hike, and to turn around after he'd started.

They all told him the Grand Canyon could be a cruel place.

Stan said, "Just two weeks earlier a 30-year-old Japanese man had died on the Devil's Corkscrew (an infamous trail on the North Rim) because he overheated."

Micheal hiked 14 hours that first day, willing himself down big steps carved into the trail to prevent washouts.

He recalls his pain level as being off the scale, but he refused to quit.

"Mentally, no," said Dye. "It was NOT, 'I'm not going to make it.' It was always, 'I'm going to make it'. I didn't know how I was going to make it but I knew I was going to make it."

It took four days to cover just under 30 miles.

His hike turned into a fund-raiser for MS, and an inspiration to anyone who sees him walk.

"It's about giving hope," said Dye. "Set your mind and do the things you can do while you can still do them."

Mike, Stan, and Mat finished their hike in mid July.

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