Mitch McCabe used to fool around when he drew, never taking it seriously. But a motor vehicle accident in 1998 left McCabe, who was 15 years old, with a spinal cord injury. After the accident, McCabe was inspired by a fellow artist to give art another shot.
Today he paints. One can often find him in his wheelchair, a pencil in his mouth, creating beautiful landscape and animal pictures.
Drawing is still just a hobby for Mitch, although he’s become darn good at it, and it isn’t his career goal. In his apartment, where he lives independently, one can see his art hanging on the walls along with charcoal Native American drawings. He likes to go to markets to show others his pieces, and he has made postcards, cards and framed representations of his work. He plans on taking his easel down to the markets in Missoula to show others exactly how he draws one day.
McCabe grew up in Harlem, MT and moved to Missoula in 2002 to look for more opportunities. He knew nothing of services or community resources at age 19.
“I learned everything from other people,” McCabe said.
He said loves meeting new friends and said he has met some great people as a result of acquiring his disability. He wants people to know that there is life beyond disability and that someone can still accomplish their life dreams after becoming disabled.
McCabe will be starting at the University of Montana this summer in journalism. He is also a Summit ILC peer advocate. McCabe said his intention is to help others and work on elements that he believes can still be improved in people’s lives and in the community.
by Lorna Palin, SDPAS Coordinator