Learn more about Mike from Tenth Avenue North:
Born in Omaha, Nebraska on September 30 to Dan and Sharon Donehey, Mike had grown up in a Christian home. He enjoyed soccer and other sports, but surprisingly didn’t pursue much of a musical career. Being the middle of 5 kids, Donehey has always been used to having company around.
Attending Fredericksburg Christian School in Fredericksburg, VA, Mike starred on the soccer team for the class of 1999. On September 17, 1998, Donehey and two teammates were driving to a game when the Honda they were in swerved out of control on Mine Road near Spotsylvania County. The car flipped several times before smashing into a tree and erupting into chaos.
When police and paramedics arrived on the scene, they thought Donehey was dead. What they later came to understand was that sometime between the swerving and crashing, Mike and his friends were thrown out of the car and ejected onto the ground. His dad, Dan Donehey, reports that paramedics lost Donehey’s pulse more than once on the way to the hospital. The injuries experienced were tremendous; not only did he fracture his skull and vertebrae, but Mike needed 96 stitches. After 5 days in intensive care, he was told he would never walk again. “It kind of woke me up to the realization that I am not immortal, that I am not going to be here forever,” says Donehey.
Two months after the crash, Mike proved science wrong when he was up and moving, eager to play in the school’s soccer championships. While recovering from the crash, Mike picked up the guitar – and almost never put it down. “I remember him being annoying with it. We were like, ‘Dude! Stop playing the guitar!’” says childhood friend Will Newman. Having no plans to pursue music as a career, Mike continued along the path of majoring in Theater in college.
“At college, I experienced a lot of frustration because things weren’t working out the way they were supposed to with my acting,” recalls Donehey. After constantly taking second place at auditions, he met fellow musicians Brian Homan and Jason Jamison, who he admired because “they sang about just wanting to be with Jesus.” Soon after, Fraggle Rock was formed, and later changed to Tenth Avenue North.