Boy with spina bifida surprises classmates by walking at preschool graduation

Video of smiling boy's big accomplishment goes viral

By Michelle Ganley - Graham Media Group

Photo courtesy of Team Blake/Facebook

Much to the delight of his classmates, a 5-year-old boy with spina bifida walked on stage at his preschool graduation, and there wasn’t “a dry eye in the room,” the child’s mother wrote on Facebook.

Blake Mompher, who lives in Ohio, surprised the crowd earlier this month when he walked at the graduation ceremony.

His family posted this video, below, to a Team Blake Facebook account after the May 11 event, with the following message: “Blake walked on the stage today for his preschool graduation, a goal I set for him at the beginning of this year, not knowing what medical trauma was ahead of us. Not a dry eye in the room! So proud of my guy 💙 Never, ever give up.”

The boy’s mother, Megan Mompher, told People magazine that none of Blake’s classmates had seen him walk before.

“ … To see their reactions was so awesome,” Mompher said. “Everyone stood up and gave him a standing ovation. Nothing like it.”

Blake realized how much progress he had made in the weeks leading up to graduation, after working with a therapist. He’s always used a wheelchair, but recently, had been practicing taking steps with a walker.

Blake had surgery in November and had to stay in a hospital for more than a month, Mompher told People.

"Right after, he said, 'I did it!'" Mompher said to the magazine. "He’s always been kinda freaked out over that stage, and the fact that he came out smiling was pretty surprising. You can tell how proud he was."

At last check, Mompher’s video had been viewed more than 37,000 times. Blake has gotten a ton of attention for his big accomplishment. Here he is, preparing for an interview with ABC World News.

Photo courtesy of Team Blake/Facebook


Way to go, Blake!

Learn more about his story below.

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