Pivot first met Mike and Vickie Micallef at one of our DesignMeets events — they became frequent attendees, and invited us into their ‘Living Prototype’ Mississauga condo a few years back. We also interviewed them about the eyeglasses prototype they created — they couldn’t find a solution for Mike’s needs (Mike suffered from Huntington’s Disease), so they decided to create their own. Mike and Vickie used backcasting to imagine a future scenario — the progression of Mike’s Huntington’s — and looked at how they could work backwards to prepare for it.
Last year, we ran an inclusive design session at the 2018 Interior Designers of Canada Symposium. We took participants through our design process in order to demonstrate how we can solve real-world problems through an inclusive lens. The session opened with a talk from subject experts Mike and Vickie.
We are saddened at the news of Mike’s passing, but grateful for his teachings.
A Message from Vickie Micallef
Mike and I built this wonderful home to live in until his death. Mike suffered from Huntington’s Disease for 20 years. It is a long decline of one’s mental and physical abilities but he struggled as long as he could maintain his dignity. Living with dignity was important to him. When that was lost he chose to leave by investigating MAID (Medical Aid in Death). This is not for everyone, and the point at which one feels their ability to live with dignity has gone will be different for every person.
We were lucky that MAID became legal for us and Huntington’s Disease was one of those on the list with no cure and a terrible death. We decided to celebrate his life by having a farewell party. All family, friends, and associates were invited to come to say goodbye and have Mike and I thank them for contributing so much to our life. It was a beautiful send off. The room was full of love and gratitude. Mike was told just how much he had contributed to their lives, helped them succeed and set a standard for others to follow. His advice to young people was to always be curious, look outside the box, and continue to learn.
His legacy will live on. He left knowing he had made a difference in his short time here on earth.
Please help others that do not own a home or have a home like setting to die in by making a donation to MAIDhome.ca