Before starting kindergarten, Michael was diagnosed “with a mild form of cerebral palsy.” This was due to “irreversible neurological deficiencies.” As a result, Michael had a difficult childhood as he suffered multiple medical issues surrounding his eyesight, speech and his motor skills development.
Even worse for Michael, and the rest of his family, was his battle with heart disease cardiomyopathy. Kutcher recalled the difficult period for the whole family. He said how he “didn't want to come home and find more bad news [about Michael].”
Ashton added: “I kept myself so busy that I didn't allow myself to feel.” Still, some things Ashton couldn’t avoid. His brother’s condition got worse and his chances of surviving grew weaker, unless he would undergo a heart transplant.
Ashton’s first thought was to take away his life so that he could give his brother his heart. He recalled the moment of contemplation, saying, “I'm standing on the balcony, thinking about jumping off, and my dad comes out and says: 'What are you thinking about?'”
“I tell him. He comes over and says 'you can't do that' - and right then the doctors come rushing out saying: 'We have to prepare the OR. A woman died in Florida in a car accident, and there's a heart on the way.'”
Michael’s surgery would turn out to be a success. On his website, Michael writes that this near-death experience “inspired him to take control of the future he once thought he’d never have.” Nowadays, Michael is working in sales and he is also a public speaker for a number of charities.
The charities include the Starkey Hearing Foundation, and Organize. His brother, Ashton, also does charity work. The actor has donated money and he supports a number of organizations. He even co-founded the international human rights organization, Thorn.
For Ashton and his brother, the difficult time early in their childhood proved to be a blessing. These guys are well-grounded and appreciate what matters. More than that, they are inspirations to us all in reminding us what truly matters in life.