I’m going to try and keep this as relevant to the appeal as possible but there is a story to be told here so no matter how much I try to do that, it’s going to be long but the hope is, by the time you’ve read it, you too will understand why it’s so important.
Mike was born in 1994 on the 6th of January, the third of three sons Mike was always a quiet and thoughtful soul who rarely complained. This turned out to be a negative trait when he started at the local school in 2005 and within a couple of months was being offered class A drugs in the playground and ended up being bullied for an entire year before things came to a head and it all came out. After some negotiation with the school who just continued to insist that they had neither a drug or a bullying problem, I took him out of that hell hole and applied to another, much better school for him but it turned out we lived half a mile outside the catchment area for that school so, as an epic battle commenced between me and the county council, we home schooled him. Eventually, some 6 months later, I won my fight with the local authority, and we got him into a school where he instantly blossomed as well as making a large number of lifelong friends.
However, all was not rosy, in 2008 his mum left us for pastures greener and that was a massive blow to him, and he became more and more introverted but despite this he continued to do well. So well in fact that he completed his GCSEs with enough merit to get him into engineering college and he left there with all the right qualifications to go on to university and then start a career in engineering. Sadly, this was not to be because right in the middle of his GCSEs, I was diagnosed with cancer and post a horrific set of treatments I returned home, and Mike became my full-time carer. Despite this, he still managed to finish both school and college with great results. His engineering dream however was over, and his mental health suffered badly culminating in depression and social anxiety syndrome.
Then in 2015 we almost lost him. He collapsed with heart failure, and I was told by the specialist at Salisbury that it was a matter of hours before it would have been too late. It turned out the heart failure was brought about by a rare condition called Churg Strauss Syndrome Vasculitis, or EPGA as it is now called. Mike is fighting a huge battle and as well as regular Chemotherapy has to take a mountain of medication, keep up vascular exercises and keep a close eye on his immune system which is constantly attacking his healthy organs. EPGA is awful, it’s like your own body has turned traitor and is trying to kill you from the inside 😦
A year later, He was back to learning, he signed up for an online Paul Sellers woodworking / carpentry course and taught himself wood carving (he’s still learning of course) We managed to finance a small tin shed for him which we turned into a workshop and most of the stuff like a carpenters bench and many tools etc. he either made himself, or restored boot sale & eBay purchases.
Mike uses ONLY recycled wood for his creations and everything he makes is made with hand tools, the only machines he has are a band saw and a chain saw for ripping down large bits of timber that he sometimes gets donated to him.
Five years later and he has finally outgrown his little shed and it shows. His woodworking was his escape from his illness and his responsibility of taking care of me, after everything he is still my full-time carer. He really blossomed while he had his workshop to escape to, both physically and mentally but now I watch in quiet despair as his mood darkens and his strength starts to wane once more, simply because working in a crowded tiny shop no longer brings him any joy and this is where you come in. I am on a very limited income, but I am in the process of selling everything I ever held dear to put towards financing a new, larger workshop for him, but it won’t be anywhere near enough. Please, help a true young gentleman, everyone who meets him almost instantly falls in love with this young man, he is naturally polite, helpful to a T, kind and caring, he does not deserve the cards he has been played, he lost a childhood, and he lost all the joys of being a single young man. I just know that if you met him, you would want nothing more than to help me achieve the goal of putting a smile back on his face.
Thank you. ❤
You can see some of his work here:
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