Most children run races and play without any real thought about what is involved in doing so. For some children, however, physical limitations can affect their ability to be involved in such activities. That was the case for a young lad named Matt Woodrum. He has cerebral palsy, but he also has something else, a lot of heart and determination. That is why he was so convinced that he was not only going to be in the race that day, he was going to finish it as well.
The school was holding a 400-meter race and all of his schoolmates were going to be in it. The gym teacher, his “coach” told him that he didn’t need to participate but he was determined that he was going to do his best to keep pace with his school friends. As his coach stood on the field and prepared to give the word to begin, he was right there, standing shoulder to shoulder with his peers. His mother was there to take a video of the entire event so she could share it with his father that evening. They had no idea she was going to have something that would be shared with the world.
As you watch the video below, you can sense the determination in this youngster as he runs the race with everyone in his class. At first, he did so on his own but it wasn’t long before he had some help that was unexpected. Just wait till you see what happened.
Matt Woodrum has cerebral palsy, a problem that affects many children. In fact, it is one of the leading issues that occur with kids and it affects about one in every 500 children. Even though it is such a common problem, there are many people who don’t truly understand what is behind it or the length that some of these children will go to in order to participate in these activities.
Cerebral palsy is something that typically occurs in the child when the mother is pregnant. It is a brain injury that could also take place when the child is very young. As a result of that injury to the brain, the child will not be able to have full movement of their body. It is an issue that they will deal with for the rest of their lives.
You can see that Matt is quite determined and he is out on his own, running with all of his heart. When he starts to struggle, his coach does what he should do and goes out on the field in order to run with Matt and give him some encouragement to keep going. It is nice to see the two of them running, Matt out in front and his coach following closely behind him.
It isn’t long before these two start to attract some attention and what happens next surprises the mother and many others who were out there that day.
The children started to follow along and to give additional encouragement to Matt as he struggled to reach the finish line. Matt later said that the encouragement he was receiving from his classmates really helped him to continue going. In fact, there were so many of his friends along on his run that it was difficult to pick him out in the crowd. We can only imagine the pride his mother was feeling at that moment.
Not only was she watching her son and all of his determination to continue, she was watching the kindness of his peers and all that they were doing for him on that day. It’s difficult to watch it and not have your eyes fill with tears at what you are seeing.
As Matt crossed the finish line, his classmates were cheering and chanting, giving him all of the encouragement that he needed to keep going. This is the type of thing you would see in a movie but there it was, in plain sight, playing out for everyone to see. Matt was tired when it was over by he was happy that he finished the race.
His mother and father were also very proud of what this young lad was able to accomplish. Since sharing the video on YouTube, it has received over 7 million views and that number just continues to grow.
Cerebral palsy is a debilitating issue that affects different children in different ways. In the end, however, it doesn’t affect their determination to finish the race. That fact is easy to see when you watch this video for yourself.
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