Fletcher Cleaves is a Memphis native whose story is full of resilience, hope and inspiration. Following a life-altering event, he 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., as well as at many schools, colleges, sports teams, community organizations, and businesses.
Fletcher's journey began in the fall of 2009. During this time, he was a lively freshman enjoying his first semester of college on a football scholarship at Lambuth University when, suddenly, everything changed. On September 10, 2009, he was involved in a tragic car accident caused by a distracted driver, who was suspected to have been texting while driving. This event left Fletcher paralyzed from the chest down, and he was challenged with the task of starting his life over. Now, a quadriplegic, he had to relearn everything in order to adjust to his new circumstances.
Following the accident, Fletcher and his family endured a number of obstacles, including both of his parents losing their jobs in order to become his full-time caretakers. However, through all of the setbacks, Fletcher was determined to prevail. After a year of intense rehabilitation, he decided to re-enroll in school at the University of Memphis. There he attained a degree in Computer Science and joined Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. as well. Fletcher's recovery helped him recognize that sharing his journey could not only motivate others, but also save lives.