Ohio Teen With Cerebral Palsy Walks At Graduation To Surprise Her Family

high school diploma

An Ohio teenager who has cerebral palsy, a neurological disorder that "causes impaired movement associated with abnormal reflexes," surprised her family when she stood up from her wheelchair, grabbed a walker, and walked across the stage at Ravenna High School to receive her diploma. Lexi Wright received a standing ovation from her classmates and the reaction brought her mother Dede to tears. 

“I was bawling my eyes out,” Dede told the Kent-Ravenna Record-Courier. “I couldn’t even cheer her on because I was bawling so much.”

Lexi had been practicing for the big moment all year and wanted to surprise her family, according to Ravenna High School Principal Beth Coleman, who was also brought to tears by the site of the 19-year-old walking for the first time. 

“I was brought to tears when she made it all the way down the ramp,” Coleman said. “Her classmates cheered her the entire way.”

Lexi's mom was genuinely surprised but realized what was going on when the supports from her wheelchair were moving moved, allowing her to stand. 

“I knew nothing about it until they started to move her feet (support) on her wheelchair, then I knew something was happening,” Dede said. “When she received a standing ovation, that melted my heart.”

Photo: Getty Images


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