Impossible is Nothing-UniversityofPortlandThe 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)


  1. good for you pal, great determination. I had an accident in 1990 and spent 3 1/2 years in a wheelchair. I knew I would get better but it was a long path. getting out of my wheelchair was great but you getting out of yours is not just inspirational its great. not just for you but everyone in that auditorium that saw you do it had to say that if you could do that then they can do anything. good luck to you and congradulations on your graduation

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