A big change of plans

Mikey Mendoza tells his story that should serve as inspiration to all.

The world of sport is full of fascinating tales, miracles, tragedies and triumph. But what happens during competition pales in comparison to the real-life story of teenage skateboarder Mikey Mendoza, who has overcome the wildest of odds to become not only a sponsored athlete but an honours student in every sense of the term.
We’ve told you before just what a special man he is but now his story is out there for the whole world to see, with ABC 3 running a special on the little legend this Monday night at 8pm, MY:24. It basically documents the 24 hours that changed Mikey’s life forever. And what a revelation it was.
“It’s pretty exciting and contains a bit of skateboarding however, the main focus is the things that I’ve endured, overcome and everything that has happened to me that has made me the man I am today,” a perpetually smiling Mikey says.

“I filmed the show with ABC last year and it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. And I don’t mean telling my story but actually being cleared to tell it.”
So harrowing is Mikey’s story that the station insisted he undergo a psych evaluation before getting the green light to tell it.
“It was a physiological assessment with a full-blown psychologist to make sure I was capable of delving back into rough patches of my life,” says Mikey, who lived a life of isolation, free some school and a social existence with his mentally challenged parents before moving in with the aunty and uncle he never knew existed just a few years ago.
“This might sound strange but I studied my life for months before the show – the past, present and future to make sure my episode would have the most detail and best recall of certain things that have had a major impact on me today,” he continues.
“It was tough going back to all the neglect from my childhood. And it was extremely hard to come to terms with the fact that I didn’t even meet my aunt and uncle, who I now live with, until I was 12 years old.
“Growing up and knowing now that they lived honestly 15 minutes away from me my whole life – it’s crazy.”
But Mikey wanted to tell the story in the name of inspiring other kids or adults in similar situations to aspire to greater things.
“A lot of things came up that I just didn’t think about before but overall the series aim is to inspire and motivate children and young adults with the stories of amazing people who underwent a drastic change in the space of 24 hours.
“The series is called MY:24 and it’s all about the 24-hour experience that change a life forever.
“It’s a series featuring a number of people and it started last Monday and I must say, those two stories were humbling to watch and incredibly heart-felt.
“There are two episodes each Monday at 8pm on ABC 3 and I advise EVERYBODY to watch it. The diverse 26 stories shared throughout this series all share a high calibre of intelligence as a result of how they are told – no narrator, no fancy effects or anything. The stories speak for themselves.
“And if it weren’t for my beautiful aunt and uncle, I would be illiterate, probably homeless and definitely starving.”
Now if those words from Mikey aren’t enough to inspire you to watch it, nothing can.
“How do you thank somebody who has changed your life and has done so much for you and expects nothing in return?” Mikey says.
“I still don’t know, but I make sure my room, my grades and my skateboarding are all flawless and that I give them all my heart in return.”
There you have it. So tune in to ABC 3 on Monday at 8pm to get the full story. We will be.

 

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