'From the second I was born I've been a problem'
WRITING a story about a boy who spent his childhood bleeding, living with deafness and the effects of cerebral palsy is not an easy assignment.
What if that boy is you, and every one of the 700 words is true?
From the second I was born I've been a problem.
Seventeen-year-old Casino High School student Mitchell Pitman entered the story about his life into the ABC Heywire Competition.
"At first I didn't want to enter," Mitchell said.
"My parents and teachers encouraged me.
"I didn't think I was good enough."
Because of the conditions Mitchell has dealt with since birth, his personal life story is harrowing.
"There's no point hiding from it," he said.
"I don't want people to feel sorry for me, I just want them to know what I've been through," he said.
Despite the difficulties, Mitchell's story is inspirational.
My primary school was Leeville Public School, a small school with about 60 students. This is the school that helped create who I am today.
They let me play backyard touch footy on the sharp gravel that dug into my skin (of all us kids, but we didn't care).
You couldn't comprehend how many times I bled.
A soccer goal fell on me with the corner hitting the back of my head, splitting it wide open (which could only happen to me), squirting blood all over the principal's woolly jumper.
There were 42 Heywire winners across Australia. Mitchell won the Far North Coast section.
"I completely forgot I entered," he said.
"We had an assembly and Ms Hall told me I was in the top five.
"Then she said I won."
Mitchell and his family have won a trip to visit Canberra for a week in February.
I've learnt not to feel sorry for myself, it's not what I do.