"James Racing in Uniform" 30" x 24" Oil on Canvas. 2016
James Mitchell is currently known as "Oklahoma's 5k Running Firefighter." At 51 years old NF is not getting him down or even slowing his pace. James spent his first 50 years in Bristow Oklahoma and has NF1. The tumors didn't show up on him until his late 20's. He worked for Kwikset Black & Decker from 1983 to 2005. At the same time he was a volunteer firefighter from 1987 to 2008 when he retired from the fire department. One time, while living in Tulsa, James was playing basketball at the local YMCA as part of a work team when a few people began asking him questions. The questions centered around the bumps covering his body. Honestly, James didn't really know what they were from and all he could say was that it was something that both his father and grandmother also had as well. His grandmother has them all over her face whereas he and his dad have them more over their body. As far as his face or anything noticeable, there is only one on his chin. After the basketball game, the company doctor took a look at him and informed him that he did, indeed, have NF. Many years later, now being aware of the disorder, James started to notice more people in his town of Bristow living with it. James now works at the Sapula Atwoods which is a family owned store that deals in power tools, home repairs and lawn and garden supplies. One of Jame's co-workers who used to previously work there also had NF. A few years ago James walked in the Tulsa Oklahoma NF walk in his fire gear and with "NF Team Benny" on his air tank. Benny had wanted to be a firefighter but sadly never fulfilled his dream as he died from NF complications. Jame's hope is that Tulsa, Oklahoma will have another NF walk each year as he is eager to it again and raise awareness. .