Mike & Janice Sugerman

Adversity: Paralysis

Advocacy: Sharing their stories to help other families

“We didn’t choose advocacy. Advocacy chose us. We wrote a Facebook entry about Mike’s recent paralysis and got 500 responses about how brave we were to share our story and how inspiring it was. We had no idea. We just wanted to let our friends know what was going on. So now we share our adventure as a couple and hope to keep inspiring.”

Mike Sugerman and Janice Wright Sugerman have been married… and in love… for 40 years. When Mike is thinking about something, Janice says it out loud. They also have shared a broadcasting life together, at CBS, as reporters and anchors. They talk in shorthand about their jobs. So, when Mike became a paraplegic in February of 2022 they held hands and started a new journey together, but also apart.

Mike has won 17 Emmys and 10 national Murrow awards, for both radio and television, specializing in human interest stories. He now hopes to use his skills as a storyteller to help turn his adversity into advocacy . He started writing the first chapter in the ICU while still recovering from a very dangerous aorta surgery that led to his paralysis.

Janice has played many roles in her career, newswoman, actress, audiobook narrator, voice over artist, and now she has been cast as a “caregiver”. But, that’s not how she feels, Caregivers take care of friends, strangers, relatives. Janice is instead sharing a new, if incredibly challenging, life with her husband. She wants to turn her adversity into advocacy for couples, especially younger ones, who don’t have 40 years to fall back on, by honestly exploring the highs, lows and sometimes terribly messy parts of this new life.


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