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Jonathan 'Mitch' Mitchell

Categories: Invictus Games 2020 Athletes

Former Sergeant in the British Army Jonathan Mitchell lost more than half his body weight to chemotherapy as he battled the highly-aggressive Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia for four and half years. The two to eight per cent chance of survival he was given wasn’t a problem, he says, because he believed he was 'bulletproof'.

More worrying was the prospect of being discharged from the Army, which he saw as his ‘second family’:

“I grieved the loss of the Army, becoming depressed.

“I missed feeling that sense of pride and being a part of the brotherhood.”

The 35-year-old, who goes by the name of Mitch, competed at the Invictus Games Sydney 2018 and won a powerlifting bronze in Sydney which he has been working hard to better that this time around.

The last couple of years proved difficult for Mitch who was classed as clinically vulnerable and therefore had to isolate for a over a year in total alongside his daughter who lives with cystic fibrosis.

“The biggest thing I really took out of the COVID-19 regime was just how much I appreciate my family.

“We even trained together, designing training circuits on a whiteboard to complete in the garden to keep fit as a family. We all benefitted from this not just physically but mentally too.

“I wouldn’t be here without them.”

Today, Mitch admits that he is still coming to terms with the fact that his body will never fully recover from the years of chemotherapy and radiotherapy that has been administered.

“At the very most I will be 50% of what I used to be with regarding to physical fitness as throughout my Army career, this, along with my emotional and psychological resilience, was something that I prided myself upon.”

Being part of the Invictus programme and representing Team UK has helped Mitch turn that corner.

“The day I was medically discharged from HM Forces was the worst day of my life and broke me in every way humanly possible. There was no light at the end of the tunnel.

 “Being in the Invictus UK Team, will mean that I will be a part of that brotherhood once again. Illness or no illness, to be a part of something that I believed was out of my life. Being surrounded be these phenomenal ex-service men and women, I now call family, is such an honour – and along the way help those who need it too.

“Being a part of this Invictus family is everything.”