Meet the first of our April Autism Superstars: on Mitch's Autie Walk
Hi my name is Mitchell Bourke and I am 12 years old, I have Autism, Schizotypal Disorders, Every form of Dyslexia, Separation Anxiety Disorder. It has not always been easy for me in fact I tried to commit suicide a few years ago, I'm so glad now that it didn’t happen.
I am the one who started Mitch’s Autie Walk, it started because a friend of the family told my mum that funding had fallen through so I came up with the idea to walk from one side of town to the other approx. 20 kms, to raise the money myself, my goal was $25,000. It started really fast and I had to tell my story to lots of people over and over again it was really hard to do this, we were getting some cheques off some important people and some of the businesses that I contacted were donating items for an online auction, it was awesome.
|Part of the preparations: Asking people for sponsorship.|
The night before I was excited, nervous and worried as I didn’t know if I could finish and would let people down. Mum said to me it didn’t matter whether I took one step or not as I had done more than anyone has imagined and that everyone was already so proud of me. I had trouble sleeping and mum woke me at 6am so I could have breakfast but I was way too nervous.
We arrived at the start to see my big sister already there, she is a fish, this is my word for amazing, awesome, great, and beautiful and so on, which made me feel so much better.
Then other people started to arrive, it made me really nervous but my sister and her best friend Ash made me feel better. So next we were on our way and I can remember mum laughing and saying we were walking too fast. We had people that tooted and waved along the way, we had a group of cyclist that had collected and all stopped to give me the money and they all clapped it was so so good. We arrived at the lake and we were having a rest stop and a man just walked up and said hey mate you are doing a good job and gave me $50 he had driven so far to do this I couldn’t believe it.
Along the way we met some really lovely people we got the other side too fast and had to stop and have a rest and play, they had to slow me down as we would have arrived at the end before the time that we said. We left there and got to Kangaroo Flat where I had to have some fries lol and then started heading to the finish line, I had an anxiety attack about 2 kms out as I knew that there were lots of people at the end, I got myself so worked up that I couldn’t breathe properly, mum helped me through this as she always does, we got to the end and I felt warm and fuzzy inside, I was so pleased to see everyone, I had done it.
|Exhausted at the end of the walk, with big sister.|