In 2001, Michelle suffered a spinal cord injury that left her paralyzed from the chest down. During that time, she was forced to confront many obstacles, from regaining strength, using adaptive equipment, and learning how to live her life in a wheelchair. In searching for a platform to explain this to the students she taught, she wrote her first book, New Opportunities. Along with illustrator and friend, Dorothy Perez, the story of Spiney, then called New Opportunities was published in 2005. This story is a revised edition.