BORN with muscular dystrophy, Mitchell Fletcher was told by doctors he would only live until he was 15.

At 26, he has defied those odds but as he can only move his thumbs, it isn't much of a life.

Mr Fletcher is confined to a wheelchair with a breathing tube attached.

Carers are with him around the clock and despite the hand he's been dealt, he has a positive outlook on life.

There is a possibility Mr Fletcher only has a few years left to live and he wants to make them as wonderful as possible, but for that to happen he needs a specially-modified van.

At the moment he is confined to his room, which is kitted out with a kitchen and bathroom, and if he wants to go anywhere he has to order a maxi taxi which can be expensive.

Mr Fletcher started a fundraiser in June last year and with the support of the community, he has raised an amazing $25,000 but needs another $5000 to reach his goal.

BID FOR FREEDOM: Mitchell Fletcher with one of his carers Danielle Walker.
BID FOR FREEDOM: Mitchell Fletcher with one of his carers Danielle Walker. Nev Madsen

His mum Natalie Fletcher said her son was an inspiration.

"Mitchell knows his fate and his calmness is an absolute credit to him. Sometimes I pinch myself and wonder where he came from," she said.

"For someone who can only use his two thumbs and not complain says something about his character.

"It breaks my heart every time I see him. As a mother it is hard knowing I have to say goodbye to him soon.

"It is pre-grief essentially. Years of grief has taken an impact on my mind, body and soul.

"Mitchell gets anxious about the future but that is why we want to get the van to make his time as special as we can.

"I would buy him one if I could but I just can't afford it, all I can do is help him reach his goal and stay positive throughout his journey."

Mr Fletcher has had two fundraisers in Toowoomba, at The Vault and The Irish Club. Now Urth Cafe is hosting a Burgers and Bands for Mitch next Saturday.

Mr Fletcher said he hoped it would tip him over his goal of $30,000.

"As the years have gone by, my disease has progressed to the point where I now have only extremely limited use of my thumbs," he said.

"Because of this, I require full assistance with every personal daily task in order for me to live a relatively normal life.

"My life consists of a carer coming to my house and going through the daily routine of getting out of bed and ready for the day which usually takes an hour to complete.

BID FOR FREEDOM: Mitchell Fletcher with one of his carers Sarah Huddleston.
BID FOR FREEDOM: Mitchell Fletcher with one of his carers Sarah Huddleston.

"Once I am up I usually play the Xbox and watch TV.

"I love more than anything to go out with my friends at night and have a few drinks. I can usually do this once a week with the use of a taxi.

"It would be so good to be able to experience it more often and have that freedom.

"Getting this vehicle will mean I will be more independent and have the opportunity to travel to different places.

"It will help me to live the life I want to live.

"I am so grateful for all the support I have received from the community. It is overwhelming to know so many people want to help me."

Ms Fletcher said it was her son's attitude that prolonged his life.

"He said to me once that he knew he wouldn't be here if he wasn't so loved but I think it also has a lot to do with his strength," she said.

"His body is so fragile, his lung capacity is limited, his muscles are breaking down but he is so strong mentally.

"He told me that when his time comes, he knows I will do the right thing with the van and pass it on to someone who needs it.

"They are words from an old soul."

BURGERS AND BANDS

  • When: Saturday, May 6 from 4pm - 10pm
  • What: Fundraiser for Mitchell with local bands performing. All funds go towards him.
  • Cost: $20, includes burger and chips
  • Want to donate? gofundme.com/2c35bu4
  • For more information search Burgers & Bands for Mitch on Facebook
     


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