Ashton Kutcher’s twin brother Michael is opening up about his health in a rare interview with Us Weekly.
Michael has cerebral palsy and had to undergo a heart transplant in his teens due to viral cardiomyopathy.
The 40-year-old wanted to share his story as part of the #BeTheGift campaign, which encourages people to register as organ donors.
Looking back, Michael recounted the viral cardiomyopathy diagnosis at age 13, saying his heart grew to four times its normal size. At first, he was given weeks to live. Then, he suffered a heart attack and doctors said he only had 48 hours.
Thankfully, Michael received a last-minute heart transplant that saved his life.
Kutcher also recalled Ashton’s support at the time, revealing the actor wanted to donate his own heart to save his twin.
Michael said, “It’s a connection that you can’t explain. In all seriousness, we’re just very connected… It’s an honor or deep appreciation and a deep love for someone who would sacrifice that for you. I really can’t put words to it.”
While Ashton has shown concern for his brother, Michael has told him not to feel sorry for him.
“I said, ‘Every time you look at me, every time you feel sorry for me, in a way, you make me less. You make me less,’” he explained. “I am who I am, right? I was put in these situations. Who I am is for a reason. I strongly feel that a major part of that reason is to be an advocate and be outspoken and use the platform that I am to advocate for disability, to advocate for organ donation, and I feel I’ve found my purpose in that.”
Today, Michael is in good health and living in Colorado with his 14-year-old son. “I’m thankful for another holiday season,” he said. “I’m thankful for the ability to enjoy the holidays another year with my family. I’m thankful for the last year, to be able to touch the individuals I have, to join the #BeTheGift campaign, and get the awareness out, [to get] more donations, and to raise my son to be the amazing individual he is.”
He continued, “I have recently built a new family here in Colorado and found an amazing woman with two younger children herself. It’s another chapter in my life. I’m thankful to have started writing that chapter.”
Visit BetheGiftToday.com to learn more about organ donation.