Tumblr, I never post things like this, but I am asking you- from the bottom of my heart- to read this in full. Thank you.
This is Mitchell Wilson. Mitchell was an 11 year old boy about to start Grade 6 in Pickering, Ontario. Two years ago he lost his mother to cancer, and a year after that, he was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy.
The doctors told the Wilsons that daily walks would slow the atrophying of his muscles, so Mitchell would often walk around the neighborhood by himself.
Last fall, Mitchell went on a walk and borrowed his father’s iPhone so he could listen to music and call home to see what time dinner would be. He was jumped by a boy from his elementary school, who stole the phone and smashed Mitchell’s face into the pavement so hard he broke his teeth.
The alleged mugger was suspended from school and the Wilsons pressed charges. But the bully’s friends would continue to harass Mitchell, following him around and making fun of the way he walked. Mitchell’s father says he was never the same after the incident, and he stopped his daily walks, which led to complications with the muscular distrophy. He had to use a walker at school.
The day before Mitchell was set to start Grade 6, he received a subpoena for court to testify against his mugger. He was terrified of facing the boy in court. When his father went to wake him up for school the next day, he found Mitchell dead. He had committed suicide, at age 11.
I was about to go to bed last night when I clicked on the link to this story. I almost couldn’t believe it. I’ve seen many sad news stories and I know that awful things like this happen ever day, but it really hit home, and I couldn’t stop crying. When I look at his picture, I lose it. I have a little brother who was bullied in school, and I was, too. The worst was around the ages of 11 or 12. People still mention that I’m sensitive- well, you would be too if you were endlessly mocked from the ages of 7-15 for things you couldn’t help (including your looks and the way you spoke), or got the shit kicked out of you for saying the wrong thing. When I found out it was happening to my brother, years later, my blood boiled and I wanted to go all vigilante, but I knew it wouldn’t help a thing. I just listened and made sure he knew I was there, and gave the best advice I could. Mitchell Wilson didn’t have anybody to tell him that it would pass. Because it does pass. But when you’re eleven and the world’s against you, it doesn’t feel like it will.
Hardships like losing a parent and then being diagnosed with a slowly crippling illness are bad enough, but having to face that kind of bullying on top of it is unbelievable. It wasn’t just verbal, it was physical. Mitchell Wilson didn’t deserve this. No kid does.
A 17 year old boy from Hamilton ended his life just days after Mitchell, and the Ontario Trillium Foundation has already donated a $130,800 grant to a local Hamilton suicide prevention line that will allow them to work more closely with schools. I’ve contacted them, and so far nothing has been set up for Mitchell Wilson’s school, area, or in his honour, so this is what I will be doing.
If Mitchell had known of a place he could call and talk to someone, or if he had been paired with a Big Brother or someone who could level with him and keep him from hurting himself, or if he had even been aware of all the help he could have received, maybe he would have taken it, or spoken up. Now the boy who mugged and assaulted Mitchell may have the charges against him dropped because Mitchell won’t be there to identify him. This is unbelievable.
If you google him, there are fewer than ten articles about this. It angers me that this isn’t getting attention because it isn’t a “cause-celebre”- Lady Gaga isn’t forcing this story into the media. How young does a person have to be? How much more tragic can the story get for it to be noticed and have the proper attention paid to it? What if it had been your sibling, your cousin, or your child?
I will be working with Kid’s Help Phone, the Trillium Foundation and SAVE (Students Against Violence Everywhere) to try and get funding for Mitchell’s school and area, similar to what the Hamilton area received, and hopefully also a dontation to the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Canada.
Mitchell Wilson deserves it.