Growing up, I always thought of myself to be just like everyone else, except for one thing... I was born with Spina Bifida.

In 1970, I was diagnosed with Spina Bifida, which greatly affected the muscles and nerves in my lower back and legs. Who would have thought that I'd spend the next 18 years a patient at Shriners Hospital for Children in Philadelphia. When most kids are "just being kids," I was undergoing 13 surgeries all before the age of ten to help correct the effects that Spina Bifida left on me.

Even though I couldnt walk as well as all the other kids, I always wanted to do what they were doing. When I climbed a tree, I stumbled. I rode a bike; I stumbled some more. I played baseball; I stumbled even more. As many times as I would stumble, I always managed to pick myself up making a joke or two along the way.

In 1979, my parents decided it was time to take me out of "special school" and have me "mainstreamed" into the regular educational system. It wasn't long before I discovered that "no, not everyone had braces, casts and crutches." Imagine that! I wasn't like everyone else; I was different. From this point on, I knew I was destined to do something that would make me stand out from the rest, just like I'd been doing my entire life.

Not knowing where my life was going to take me, I decided that making others laugh was my dream. Following this dream, I am now a professional stand-up comedian or "barely can stand up comedian" who has performed all over the East Coast to as far away as the Comedy Store in Hollywood, California. I am also a motivational speaker who speaks on keeping your sense of humor while overcoming adversity.

"One thing to remember is that even though every day may seem like a challenge,

it's all how you perceive it ~ let humor be the way!" Tim

Mike Cotayo's high-energy performances and quick wit have been captivating audiences for many years. Once he steps onstage all bets are off. He easily feeds off of the crowds energy. No one, not even Mike, knows what's going to come out of his mouth. He has been dubbed 'The Paula Poundstone of his Comedy Generation,' less for his drinking problem, and more for his spontaneity with audiences.

At the age of eighteen months old, a near fatal car crash turned life around for Mike. He was severely injured due to a drunk driving accident. He had a Traumatic Brain Injury receiving a diagnosis of acquired cerebral palsy. Now an adult living with a physical disability Mike realizes that the best medicine is laughter, and his goal is to medicate the whole world (or at least three of his family members).

When Mike was asked to perform on The Cringe Humor Show at The Laugh Factory in Times Square, it created a ripple effect that is still going. As a result of this show his work has been sold on iTunes, and he was asked to co-write a screenplay based on a stand up comedian with a disability. He also garnered many other opportunities such as performing on Shock Jock Radio Shows "Opie & Anthony" and "Howard Stern TV" He was also featured on Comcast Television's "Your Morning Philadelphia." His Jokes have been featured in Love's Funny That Way; Squeaky Clean Comedy; and Filthy, Funny and Totally Offensive. He was also featured in an article in "Advance Magazine," alongside Josh Blue.

In addition to performing regularly at New York City Clubs, Mike continues to headline colleges across the country. Selected campuses include Kansas State University, Binghamton University, and Columbia University.

Mike Cotayo

Tim Grill

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