A special education teacher refused to let her student’s cerebral palsy stop her from missing out on the school’s annual camping trip. She went to extreme lengths just so the 10-year-old would be able to enjoy hiking like her fellow classmates.
Maggie Vazquez, a 10-year-old who has cerebral palsy, requires a walker to help her get around. She loves the outdoors but sometimes it can be difficult for her to do the things she enjoys to because of her condition.
So when her class was planning to go on a camping trip, the chances of Maggie joining them were pretty much non-existent. Maggie’s walker wouldn’t work in the woods and so there was no way she would have enjoyed hiking with her friends.
However, her teacher, Helma Wardenaar, wasn’t about to let that happen, even if that meant carrying the 10-year-old on her back during three days of hiking.
“I really believe that everybody should enjoy [the trip]. If we provide this to our walking students then Maggie should be just as much a part of our community. We have students who have learning disabilities or speech problems or medical issues and we say, ‘No, we’re going to try.'” Wardenaar told InsideEdition.com
With the help of Maggie’s parents and staff at local outdoors stores, Wardenaar tried different ideas to get Maggie to go on the trip.
First, she checked to see if wheelchairs would work, but it turned out they wouldn’t be able to handle the terrain.
She then considered renting a pony for Maggie to ride on, but they’re not allowed on pedestrian paths. “I considered accepting a fine if we would be caught, but figured that it would set a bad example.” Wardenaar said.
Then, they decided to try out a $300 Freeloader Child Carrier, even though Maggie was a little too big for it.
Wardenaar said, “The first time we did that, it was a bit clumsy. We had to stand on the table and then get on, right? Now we learned you can kind of squat down and she can be guided on that way. At 45-minutes [into] the hike, you said, ‘My legs hurt, it’s not comfortable,’ so we looked into making adjustments.”
With the carrier, Wardenaar carried Maggie on her back and she was able to enjoy the trip a great deal.
“We saw deer footprints, butterflies, birds, etc. Maggie sang along while I hiked. She wrote an original song about the camp and how much fun the time together is,” said Wardenaar.
Maggie’s mom who was incredibly appreciative of Wardenaar and her efforts said, “Ms. Helma really took this on personally and spent a lot of time tracking down this piece of equipment for Maggie.”
Despite working out daily, Wardenaar was left pretty sore but she said it was a small price to pay for her student not to feel left out and enjoy the trip with her friends.
What an amazing human being Helma Wardenaar is, she went above and beyond to make her student feel loved and included.
To support Wardenaar’s department, visit their GoFundMe page.
Preemie Found In Trash Bag With Maggot-Infested Head Wound, Now She’s Fighting For Her Life
One thing I will never understand, and am quite sure many people can relate, is how a person can be able to abandon their little defenseless baby at a time they need them the most and walk away.
Unfortunately, such things still happen. In a recent case that is garnering a lot of attention, a baby girl was reportedly found inside a plastic bag in Vietnam. The baby had been exposed to the sun, had several mosquito bites and had a nasty wound in her head that had become infested with maggots.
According to sources, the child was found tied to a coffee tree in Lam Dong Province, in the Central Highlands of Vietnam.
When she was found, the baby was in a horrific condition. Doctors feared she would not survive, and if she did, then she wouldn’t last too long.
Luckily, Venerable Minh Tai, abbot of the Hue Quang Pagoda, came to the poor baby’s rescue.
Tai has taken in more than 100 orphans over the years, giving them a safe place to live and grow until they found a foster family.
When Tai learnt of the baby girl’s plight, she immediately adopted her. With the help of her nuns, Tai currently takes care of ten orphans.
Tai also managed to raise $25,000 from kind Facebook users and the temples in Vietnam to pay for the baby’s medical bills.
The baby girl was named Hoai An, which means perpetual peace in Vietnamese. Baby Hoai has a number of health issues but doctors are doing the best they can for her.
“I wouldn’t write her off at this point; that would be wrong. There is a chance her condition will improve.” Dr. Tang Kok Kee, a neurosurgeon treating Hoai told the Straits Times.
Tai also is doing the best she can for baby Hoai, by giving her unconditional love and praying for her. “She is sleeping better, crying louder and has more of an appetite. She has also gained about 700g in weight and her reactions have improved,” Tai said.
Please remember to share this article with friends and family to garner prayers and well wishes for baby Hoai as she fights for her life and to show appreciation for all the incredible people who have helped so far.
Five Guys staff sees a customer too weak to order—so they feed him a free meal
There is always something amazing going on within the local communities. Last month, customers of the Five Guys restaurant in Detroit witnessed an uplifting random act of kindness between the restaurant staff and a sick customer.
Detroit’s Greektown neighborhood, Five Guys franchise manager was having a normal day at work when he saw a familiar face at the restaurant — It was Leonard. He noticed that the customer was not feeling alright.
“This time when he came in, he was having trouble ordering, saying he was sick,” Justin told FOX 2 Detroit.
As Leonard struggled to make his order, Justin decided to give him the full meal: a burger done “all the way” (topped with all the classic ingredients), plus fries and a drink.
And he didn’t charge him for the meal. “He was so unwell that he couldn’t even process the order himself,” Justin said. “So we just gave it to him.”
It didn’t just end there. Leonard was too weak to feed himself. That’s when a Justin stepped up once again and fed the man.
The manager has really won the hearts of many people.
“At Five Guys we don’t have — or believe in canned interactions but in the genuine interactions,” Justin told Liftable. “All of our interactions are genuine.”
“Every guest is special to us,” he told FOX 2. A random customer at the restaurant took photos of the scene and shared them online. The photos have since gone viral.
Justin was surprised that people were making a big deal of it after his story went viral and got picked up by news outlets.
“It came as a surprise to me, that so many are surprised to see this level of service for our guests,” he told Liftable.
“What I am most grateful for is the impact the story has had on my team,” Justin said. “Too often my staff and I hear negative stories about the city we call home and often morale is lowered because ‘who wants to work in that environment.’”
It is amazing how a small act of kindness can impact a lot of people in the community.
“I believe that every person has the ability to make an impact on a person’s life through small acts, like this one,” Justin said.
Share this uplifting story with your friends
Heartbroken grandfather eats alone next to late wife’s memorial at granddaughter’s wedding
Everyone loves weddings because it’s usually a great time for families both from near and far to come together and celebrate someone’s special day.
Unfortunately, sometimes some family members are just too far away from us.
Sahrah Elswick together with her husband Zachery were celebrating their marriage when Sahrah decided to set up a tribute to her beloved grandmother “mawmaw,” who died in 2017
She didn’t realize that the seat she was about to set up for her mawmaw will create a heartbreaking moment.
At her wedding, a white chair with photos of Mawmaw and a sign on it that read, “We know you would be here today if heaven wasn’t so far away,” was set up to honor her grandmother.
“It meant everything to me to see this at my wedding. It was so important that she be a part of my day because we were very close and I’m so glad I did it because now I see that it meant even more to him,” Sahrah told TODAY Food.
While having dinner, Sahrah spotted a scene that made her burst into tears – her grandpa was sitting with the special memorial.
“When I saw him sitting there I immediately burst into tears I was just so heartbroken and also in awe at how much he loved her,” she said.
Pawpaw sat and ate with mawmaw today at my wedding 🥺 pic.twitter.com/GEXWMCfgXB
— Sahrah Elswick (@sahrahMichelle) July 7, 2019
“I just wanted to sit with her and be there with her,” Pawpaw said. Pawpaw and Mawmaw were married for 45 years and its evident they had a “loving relationship filled with fun” and you can tell by how she is missed.
Sahrah captured and shared the moment on social media and it has since gone viral.
Sahrah’s story just made me shed some tears. Share this story if you have a loved one that you miss so much.