An Okmulgee graduate, who was born with cerebral palsy, walked for the first time ever to receive his diploma on May 20.
“I just wanted to walk across the stage and get my diploma instead of being on stage in my chair,” Micah McDade told KJRH.
It was two years ago when McDade made the decision to walk on his graduating day. He has been bound to a wheelchair nearly all his life, so his legs had all but ceased up, making it seem an unlikely goal.
But that didn’t stop him. He attended physical therapy for those two years, and also underwent surgery, which helped speed up the process.
Not many people knew of his plans, and not many people saw his efforts either.
“We had never seen him actually stand up,” Alecia Brooks, his sister, told KJRH. “All his therapy was at school or [with] his physical therapist. I was never there because I was at school or something.”
A video shot by the Okmulgee News Network showed Micah McDade, being pushed in his wheelchair heading towards the graduation stage in Harmon Stadium. When his name was called, he got up from his wheelchair, and walked across the stage to receive his diploma.
The moving video, which was later posted on Facebook two weeks ago, has since been viewed over 460,000 times.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I’ve been doing this a long time,” said announcer Craig Brydges in the video. “That is the best ever!”
The audience, too, was quite impressed; They rose from their seats to give McDade a standing ovation.
“I wasn’t nervous, but my adrenaline was pumping. I just focused on walking,” McDade told Okmulgee News Network—and his secret is quite simple, too.
“Just kept on pushing myself, you know what I’m saying. I never give up. I’ve got the eye of the tiger,” McDade told KJRH.