The University of Portland gave a standing ovation this month to one of their own, Sam Bridgman, a finance major who was forced into a wheelchair by a condition known as Friedreich’s ataxia (FA), a rare, degenerative disorder that causes progressive loss of muscle strength.
It was graduation day and Sam was determined to walk across the stage to get his diploma. When he did, the entire arena lifted him up with prolonged cheers.
“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.”
(WATCH the inspiring clip below)