Inspiring boy with cerebral palsy runs 400-metre race — with his classmates running behind him in support

Nadine Kalinauskas
Good News Writer
Good News

An inspiring video of elementary-school kids encouraging a classmate at their school's field day has gone viral.

Matt Woodrum, 11, attends Worthington Colonial Hills Elementary School in Ohio. Once a year, Colonial Hills holds a track-and-field day for its students. This year, Matt wanted to take part with his peers, opting to run the 400-metre event on May 16th.

Matt suffers from spastic cerebral palsy. His ability to participate in any sort of rigorous physical activity is severely limited. This didn't stop the determined fifth-grader.

The other students in the race finished far ahead of him. Matt didn't stop running.

The school's gym teacher, John Blaine, walked — and then ran — alongside Matt, encouraging his run.

Then the other fifth- and sixth-grade students who had already finished the race joined Matt's run, cheering him on as they ran behind him.

Matt's mother, Anne Curran, watched from the sidelines, brought to tears by the outpouring of support for her son.

Curran told the Columbus Dispatch she wasn't surprised Matt finished the race, "but when the kids came to join him, that was the real moment of inspiration that obviously made me and everybody cry. Seeing him through to the end and cheering his name was just a priceless moment."

Watch the beautiful moment below. Tissues are recommended.

"Just because you're disabled doesn't mean you can't try," Matt said he wants viewers of the video to know.

"So, when you see Matt choose to do it, even though it doesn't feel good, that inspires us to look inside ourselves and say, 'What else could we be doing that maybe we shied away from, because maybe we were a little bit scared,'" Blaine told WBNS-10TV.