Michael Crossland knows about challenges.
The 30-year-old inspirational speaker has endured a lifetime of illness and adversity, and he’s about to tell his story at a fundraiser for Wauchope’s new Palliative Care Unit.
The Rotary Club of Port Macquarie is hosting the event on Wednesday, September 3 after several of its members heard Mr Crossland speak at the Rotary District Conference in Coffs Harbour earlier this year.
“The impact of that speech reverberated throughout the Rotary community, and we felt we had to give local residents an opportunity to hear Michael and to be inspired by his story,” club president Debbie Loveday said.
One of Australia’s most sought-after inspirational speakers, Mr Crossland was diagnosed with a life-threatening cancer before his first birthday.
Given a four per cent chance of survival, Mr Crossland defied the odds, despite a lifetime of health setbacks, including a heart attack at 12.
The youngster had a dream - to play baseball in the United States - and illness wasn’t about to get in his way.
At 12, he started playing baseball in his home town of Coffs Harbour and at 15 he was drafted into the Australian Expos Baseball Team. A year later he was offered a scholarship to play college baseball in the US.
By the age of 24, he had become the youngest national sales development manager for one of the world’s largest companies but he turned his back on the corporate high life to put his health and family first and, in the process, rebuilt an orphanage in earthquake-devastated Haiti.
“The story of Michael Crossland is one of inspiration and challenge,” Ms Loveday said.
“His story is not about how many times you get knocked down, but how many times you get back up.”
In the past 12 months Mr Crossland has presented in front of more than 250,000 people, appeared on countless radio and television shows in the US and Australia, and featured in an humanitarian documentary about the lives he has saved through his orphanage and school in Haiti.
The highly sought-after speaker is donating his time to ensure 100 per cent of the night’s proceeds go to the Palliative Care Unit at Wauchope District Memorial Hospital.
The venue is Port Macquarie Panthers Club and tickets cost $15 each online at www.trybooking.com/FLET, or $20 at the door. It is recommended audience members should be over 16 years of age. Doors open at 6.30pm for a 7pm start. For more information contact Leonie McHugh on 0418 982 212.