Mike White's eyelids are half-shut. His breathing is slow, heavy. Two days ago, he was hospitalized with pneumonia. He's still taking drugs to combat the illness and he blames the medicine for sapping his energy.
Despite his weariness, White rolls up in his $45,000 motorized wheelchair to Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church, a Central Phoenix megachurch, with his parents. It's 7:30 a.m. in mid-October 2013. He's wearing a black Air Jordan jacket with red lining, matching pants, and black unlaced Air Jordan shoes. The 46-year-old is 6 feet tall when standing, which he does only with help, and rarely. White is bald with a neatly trimmed goatee and dark brown eyes.
On his left wrist is a red wristband that reads, "Fighting Lou Gehrig's Disease."