Touching video of boy, 11, with cerebral palsy running as classmates cheer him

By Daily Mail Reporter

PUBLISHED: 02:09, 3 June 2012 | UPDATED: 02:09, 3 June 2012

A Youtube video of an 11-year-old boy with cerebral palsy being cheered on by his classmates as he finishes a 400-meter race has become an internet sensation.
Finishes: Matt Woodrum, 11, has cerebral palsy but loves to run

Matt Woodrum, who has spastic cerebral palsy that greatly affects his muscle movement, was struggling through the race at the Colonial Hills Elementary School in Worthington, Ohio when dozens of his classmates spontaneously converged alongside him chanting, ‘Let’s go Matt! Let’s go!’

A nearly five-minute video has received more than 700,000 views as it has captured the attention of strangers, many who call the boy and his classmates an inspiration to be more compassionate toward each other.

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Hit: A Youtube video has gone viral of Matt Woodrum, 11, who has cerebral palsy being cheered on by his classmates as he finishes a 400-meter race

Hit: A Youtube video has gone viral of Matt Woodrum, 11, who has cerebral palsy being cheered on by his classmates as he finishes a 400-meter race

The video recorded by the boy’s mother shows Matt running behind several students during the race on May 16.

When John Blaine, the boy’s physical education teacher realized Matt was having a tough time, he felt compelled to walk over and check on the boy.

‘Matt, you’re not going to stop, are you?’ he encouragingly asked the boy.

‘No way,’ said the panting, yet determined, fifth-grader.
‘I knew I would finish it’: A nearly five-minute video (pictured) has received more than 700,000 views as it has captured the attention of strangers

‘I knew I would finish it’: A nearly five-minute video (pictured) has received more than 700,000 views as it has captured the attention of strangers

Suddenly his classmates began running alongside the boy and cheering him on as he completed his final lap under the hot sun.

‘I knew I would finish it,’ said the soft-spoken Matt. ‘But there were a couple of parts of the race where I really felt like giving up.’

It was his fourth race of the day, and one he didn’t have to run.

Only a handful of students opted to give it a try, said Anne Curran, the boy’s mother.

She said her son doesn’t exclude himself from anything, playing football and baseball with friends and his two brothers.
‘No way’: A teacher had asked the panting, yet determined, fifth-grader (pictured) if he would stop running and he said he was motivated to continue

‘No way’: A teacher had asked the panting, yet determined, fifth-grader (pictured) if he would stop running and he said he was motivated to continue

‘He pushes through everything. He pushes through the pain, and he pushes through however long it may take to complete a task,’ she said. ‘He wants to go big or go home.’

The sometimes shaky footage shows Matt beginning the race on a steady pace with his classmates, though he quickly lags.

As several students pass him on their second lap around the grassy course, Blaine walks over to make sure the young runner is OK.

‘The kids will tell you that Matt never gives up on anything that he sets out to do,’ said Mr Blaine, who has been the runner’s teacher since kindergarten. ‘They knew he would cross that finish line, and they wanted to be a part of that.’
‘Go big or go home’: As Matt finished his last lap, dozens of his classmates spontaneously converged alongside him chanting, ‘Let’s go Matt! Let’s go!’

‘Go big or go home’: As Matt finished his last lap, dozens of his classmates spontaneously converged alongside him chanting, ‘Let’s go Matt! Let’s go!’

During his second lap and with Blaine by his side, the boy is suddenly joined by classmates encouraging him to keep going. Clapping and running by his side, the group begins to chant in unison.

Matt said he was surprised by his classmates’ kindness.

‘It was really cool and encouraging,’ he said.

As the runner reaches the finish line, the video shows the dozens of students bursting into applause, some throwing their arms and fists into the air before giving him a round of high-fives.

Some congratulate him, and at least one kid is heard in the video proudly telling another that Matt is his friend.
‘Really cool’: As Matt reached the finish line, the students bursted into applause, some throwing their arms and fists into the air before giving him high-fives

‘Really cool’: As Matt reached the finish line, the students bursted into applause, some throwing their arms and fists into the air before giving him high-fives

‘They treat him like every other kid,’ Ms Curran said. ‘They’re very great with him and they’re like a second family to him.’

She said her son doesn’t dwell on his condition.

‘He’s been a fighter since day one, and I didn’t expect anything less.’

Mr Blaine said no one knew a video camera was recording the race that day.

‘It was so fitting that we were all together,’ he said. ‘Matt was a huge part of that race, his classmates were a huge part of that race. It was a magic moment.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news

 

2 Responses to Touching video of boy, 11, with cerebral palsy running as classmates cheer him

  1. Wow! Truly amazing. The power of spontaneous acts of kindness. “Let’s go, Matt”

  2. janet says:

    Amazing. Go Matt Go. We need more like Matt and his classmates to show us what compassion and kindness is.
    Janet

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