With a thud, his head hit the table.

Six months.

A life isn’t even created in six months. How could it be taken away?

Looking around the sterile office, he scanned for anything that could give him comfort. Papers filled the desk. Various medial models sat atop a filing cabinet in the corner. There was nothing. He should have cried. He should have screamed. As his eyes wandered, he came to the realization. This was probably going to be it.

At just 13 years old, Mike Turner’s life was only really just beginning. Yet, at the same time, it was scheduled to be over.

Turner (Facebook)

Turner (Facebook)

“I have a pretty long history with health problems,” Turner revealed to The MMA Corner. “It started back at school when I had to take some time off because I got pneumonia, and I went to the doctor and I kept getting tests, and we were wondering why I wasn’t getting better. It turned out that I have an immune deficiency, and the doctor told me that I had six months to live.

“They told me that there was a small chance that I could live with some treatment that I could go through, but otherwise I only had six months left. Against the expectations of my doctor, I went through the treatment and I am still here today. I consider myself very lucky.”

Naturally, partaking in combat sports wasn’t exactly something that Turner had envisioned for his life. To say that he was pushed into it would be an understatement, but once he got that push, like most people who train and compete in martial arts, he never looked back.

“My brother had always struggled with his weight. He’d eat right and train his martial arts relentlessly. I’d just eat KFC and play video games, but remained in good shape,” Turner explained. “One day, his frustrations came out and he exploded at me, ‘Don’t you ever wonder what you could be achieving if you just tried like I do?’ In that moment, a question finally dawned on me—what was I going to do with my life since I do get to keep on living? I certainly didn’t want to waste it. He got me started on the path of the martial artist, and I couldn’t be more thankful.”

With the health complications in his earlier years, Turner finds that he is more prone than most people to common illnesses. It’s a function of the disease that he has fought, but it’s not something that he has ever let defeat him.

“Every day is a blessing,” he exclaimed. “When you aren’t even supposed to be alive, you don’t take things for granted. What I have been able to accomplish is certainly something that nobody ever expected. I’ve had to adjust in my training and fight preparation, and I’m sure it’s nothing like any other fighter goes through, but I am happy with what I have been able to achieve. And, really, I just live every day like it’s my last because I know what it is like to feel that way.”

Turner (Twitter.com/Turnwah)

Turner (Twitter.com/Turnwah)

After being out of action for over a year, Turner returns at BRACE 27 in Canberra, Australia, on May 17. He is set to face Sydney’s Sam Kei in one of the opening rounds of the BRACE 2014 light heavyweight championship series. Kei heads into the bout on the back of a vicious knockout victory over Hale Vaasa for the Nitro middleweight title. Turner, whose last bout ended in a first-round submission, knows all too well just how big a fight this is for his career.

“I look forward to fighting Sam,” Turner said. “We were supposed to fight about a year ago, but he got injured and I ended up fighting Morris Molesi instead, which wasn’t too bad because they were pretty similar in styles anyways. It’s kind of a good thing, though, because Sam has gone on to fight on some of the bigger shows, and he went up and won a title with Nitro and he’s been fighting some tough guys, so I’m looking forward to fighting who I think is one of the best in the country at the moment at light heavyweight. It has worked out well, too. Instead of having to fight my way to the finals of the tournament to fight the guy I want to fight, I get it straight up. Sam is a great guy, and I know that it’s going to be a great fight.”

Life is about what you make it. Turner has taken news that could have shaped his life in such a different way, and he has used it to fuel his desire to be the best that he can be. For Turner, life isn’t about successes and failures. Every breath that enters his lungs and every ray of sunshine that beams off his skin is a luxury that he was once told he would never have access to. Each and every time that he gets to compete in mixed martial arts, Turner defies the odds. That’s what life is about.

Mike would like to thank all of his coaches and training partners, as well as his sponsors. He would like to extend thanks to Fast Twitch Performance Training Centre, Bloodbath Fightwear, Adelaide Comic Centre, SABJJ and Universal Freestyle Fighter Club. Follow Turner on Twitter: @Turnwah

About The Author

Staff Writer, Australia

Located in Queanbeyan, New South Wales, Neil Rooke has been writing about the sport of MMA since 2011. In the past, Neil has written for Cage Junkies and has written for Fight! Magazine as well as Fist! Fight Magazine. Neil is also a regular contributor to Fight! Magazine Australia and Yahoo! Sports Singapore.