Sabar Kids GO for Mitch...Go Mitch Go!
We are honored to train and race in Mitch's memory and are proud to contribute a large portion of SaBaR fundraising efforts to the GoMitchGo Foundation. Here is his story, in his parents' words.
Every child is precious. Every child has potential. And, some very special children impact our lives far beyond their years on this earth. Mitchell Whitaker was that type of child. His life was an inspiration. His legacy continues as a positive influence on all who have heard his story. Mitchell was an active, fun-loving, intelligent, inquisitive, sensitive, and highly competitive boy. He loved sports, especially baseball, and he played them with both skill and passion. He was an outstanding student at Earl Harris Elementary School in Bethany, OK. He was very popular with his teachers and classmates there, along with all his friends at Bethany First Church of the Nazarene. His entire family adored him. He was an “All American” boy with such a bright future ahead - a future full of unlimited possibilities.
Then, at the age of 8, Mitchell was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia. After the initial shock, his parents, John and Tracy, explained the situation to Mitchell and his little sister, Meredith. Together, as a family, they resolved to avoid the “why-us” mentality and chose to fight this disease with God’s help and every fiber of their collective being. During Mitchell’s illness, John, Tracy, Mitchell, and Meredith constantly found ways to assist and encourage other children with blood cancers and their respective families. They organized fund-raisers, provided supplies, enlisted support, gave encouragement, and participated in many events sponsored by the Leukemia Lymphoma Society (LLS) and the OU Children’s Hospital.
Mitchell valiantly battled the leukemia for 26 months. Despite the pain of his treatments, Mitchell never quit. He continued his schooling and led his baseball team to a first place finish in their league. However, the cancer eventually gained the upper hand and Mitchell went to be with Jesus at the age of 10 years and 4 months. His last words were, “Keep Fighting” - the theme that his family had adopted since his initial diagnosis.
In this vein and in Mitchell’s memory, John and Tracy have established a family goal to raise one million dollars in their lifetime for blood cancer research. Since Mitchell’s passing, they are pursuing this goal through their direct affiliation with multiple charitable organizations and their active involvement in a wide-range of activities including: LLS Team-In-Training (TNT) program -Over 10 events in the last 4 years.LLS Light The Night Walk - OU Health Sciences Center OU Baseball- LLS Awareness Night GoMitchGo Golf Tournament presented by Shawnee Country ClubFlip Flop Events - Georgetown Triathlon Series - Spartan Race -Keep Fighting race heat - numerous triathlons and IronMan Arizona team including dozens of athletes for 2013.
Mitchell Graham Whitaker
15 May 1997 - 27 September 2007