Student makes second appearance on MTV
Published: Thursday, December 1, 2011
Updated: Saturday, December 3, 2011 14:12
Miami University sophomore Derek Zike is just like most Miami University students: he enjoys hockey games, meeting new people and heading uptown. However, there is a difference: he's a television star.
For the second time, Zike will be featured in an episode of the popular MTV series True Life. In January 2009, he suffered a paralyzing spinal cord injury while playing hockey. He was just 17 at the time.
In September 2009, the first show aired, titled "I'm Rehabbing My Injury," which documented several teens, with different backgrounds and personalities, healing from crippling injuries. Zike said, filming this episode during such a difficult time was an experience ended up being a positive in his life.
Since then, Zike's journey has led to Miami and the pursuit of a sport studies major, while again attracting the attention of the True Life crew. This time around, Zike said it was the ways he has adjusted to campus life that the production sought to document, with the hope of displaying through him what it can mean to be physically handicapped in a university setting.
"I was in high school at the time and since then I've made the transition to college," Zike said. "By showing my life on campus, they want to show how successful I have been in working through my injury."
Zike said he has truly enjoyed his Miami experience.
"It's been pretty great here. I haven't really had too many problems," Zike said. "The access bus has been really helpful to get around and I feel like I've transitioned relatively easily."
While some days have admittedly been better than others, Zike said he has overall made great strides while here, including being able to use his arms better, utilize his fingers and ultimately do more than ever on his own.
One piece of Miami that made the transition easier for Zike, and one of his favorite parts of being a student here, is the hockey team.
"I still love hockey and I love getting to cheer the RedHawks on at the games and I also like to watch the practices," Zike said.
According to Zike, the shoot took place on Nov. 18 and True Life filmed at the Goggin Ice Center, as well as King Library, Martin Dining Hall, Stadium Bar and Grill and other locations. While Zike himself will not be watching the episode, he does hope others on campus see it when it comes on.
"It is kind of weird for me to see myself on TV, but I think it would be cool if other students saw it," Zike said. "I hope they would see it and understand that I'm a fully functioning Miami student and that my injury doesn't keep me from much."