On May 5, University of Portland graduate Sam Bridgman did what many of us take for granted: he walked.
Usually confined to a motorized wheelchair — he was diagnosed with the rare degenerative neuromuscular disorder Friedreich's ataxia at age 15 — Bridgman walked across the stage at his college graduation with the help of athletic trainers Cat Wade and Brad Scott, who worked with a determined Bridgman throughout his entire time at the school.
The inspirational student's feat was met with a standing ovation from his proud peers.
Watch Bridgman's inspirational walk below. (Warning: tearjerker.)
"You've never met anyone that smiles bigger and more often," Laurie C. Kelley, associate vice president of university relations and chief marketing officer, told The Oregonian. "His smile just lights up your day."
"He'll be missed," she added. "There's not another Sam Bridgman."
"Our son, Hayden, has FA as well. He is 9 years old. Sam, YOU are an inspiration! I hope your efforts, along with the rest ofRead More »from Standing ovation: Wheelchair-bound university student walks across stage at graduation