My name is Fletcher Cleaves; I am a Memphis native whose story is full of resilience, hope and inspiration. Welcome to my website! Following a life-altering event, I discovered a passion for public speaking and began to promote the importance of safe driving and overcoming adversity through special appearances including: College Game Day, ESPN TV, ESPN radio, SportsCenter, Outside the Lines with Bob Ley, and a National Safety Transportation Board (NSTB) event in Washington D.C. to name a few.
My journey began in the fall of 2009. During this time, I was a lively freshman enjoying my first semester of college on a football scholarship at Lambuth University when, suddenly, everything changed. On September 10, 2009, I was involved in a tragic car accident caused by a distracted driver, who was suspected to have been texting while driving. This event left me paralyzed from the chest down, and I was challenged with the task of starting my life over. Now, a quadriplegic, I had to relearn everything in order to adjust to my new circumstances.
Following the accident, my family and I endured a number of obstacles, including both of my parents losing their jobs in order to become my full-time caretakers. However through all of the setbacks, I was determined to prevail. After a year of intense rehabilitation, I decided to re-enroll in school at the University of Memphis, where I attained a degree in Computer Science. My recovery helped me recognized that sharing my journey could not only motivate others, but also save lives which brings us here.
Everyone has a story. Some are blissful, while others are tragic. Mine, on the other hand, is full of triumph. I desire to share my experiences with hopes that more people feel empowered to endure difficult times and continue to fight for their dreams. To many, my accident seemed like the end of a young man’s promising future, but on the contrary, it became the prologue to my destiny. Sure there were times when I wanted to give up, but I made a choice to overcome my challenges, believe in a prosperous future and motivate others to do the same.