Mike Nelson is the biological father of Derek "Wheels" Wheeler. He was a musician and had his own band called Mike & the Drifters. When Mike and his girlfriend were sixteen they gave up their baby they didn't plan for up for adoption and made sure he got a good home. He wasn't supposed to know where his son was, but whenever he would come back to Degrassi to visit he kept tabs on him to make sure he was still close by to one day see him again.
Original Degrassi: Season 1He first showed up in the episode Parents' Night, When the day before the Wheeler's received two phone calls and both times there was no answer. These were phone calls from Mike who at first was going to ask permission to see his son but backed out from saying anything on the phone when they answered because he was afraid they might have said no and wouldn't let him see Wheels. The next day early in the morning at school Snake had warned Wheels that some guy was standing out by the gate staring at him. Later on as Wheels left school, the man standing behind the gate reveals himself as Mike Nelson. To prove he was really his biological father, Mike told Wheels personal facts about his real name and where and when he was born, and he gave him his old birth necklace. He wanted to spend some time and speak to Wheels. At first, Wheels wasn't too happy to see him and wasn't sure if he wanted to spend time with him. A day later, Wheels gives Mike a phone call and the two meet up. They found out they both enjoyed music and both played in a band and both liked the same kind of milkshakes. Over time , Mike began to cause Wheels a lot of emotional upset about coming back into his life unannounced and making him feel like he was nothing but an accident and Wheels gave him back the birth necklace. Later on Wheels went over to see him again then Mike apologized to him for just coming back into his life unannounced and they agreed to spend some time together again but not for a while after that and to take things very slowly.
In Taking Off (1), Mike sent Wheels a birthday card. this touched wheels so much that he decided to run away from his grandparents and go to visit Mike in Port Hope where he and his band were playing a two week gig.In Taking Off (2), Wheels was under the impression that Mike had known all about his adoptive parents' death and wanted him to come live with him and play bass and be part of his band. But to Wheels' surprise and disappointment, Mike hadn't known anything about the death of Mr. and Mrs. Wheeler and was worried that he ran away to see him all alone. So he had him call his grandma to ensure her he was safe but he wouldn't say where. Mike was now with a new girlfriend Maggie and they were engaged to get married and she was pregnant. He and Maggie realized that he couldn't stay with them because the baby was coming and they could barely support themselves. Also, because Mike was no longer Wheels' legal guardian, it wouldn't have been legal. When Wheels was mad to see Maggie was pregnant and Mike would be keeping the baby this time, Mike once again explained that he didn't get rid of him because he didn't want him. But he had his best interests at heart and made sure he had gotten a better home and a better life then what he and his current girlfriend at the time could have given to him. When Wheels' grandmother shows up after finding out where Wheels was. She at first was furious and though Mike wanted wheels to live with him without being appointed his legal guardian. But he informed her he didn't know he was coming and he wasn't staying and Maggie told him he should have called the police to report a runaway. After Wheels patched things up with his grandmother and went back home, Mike wasn't seen or mentioned again. Mike Nelson was portrayed by Dave James.