paralyzed teen walking at graduationNeed a pick-me-up to carry you through the weekend? This ought to do it. Patrick Ivison has been paralyzed since a truck backed over him when he was 14-months-old, but this week the high school senior walked across the stage at his graduation to accept his diploma.

If that didn't choke you up just a wee bit, perhaps it's time to have your tear ducts checked. Ivison's been in and out of the news over the years as one of those kids who hasn't let being paralyzed stop him from kicking some serious butt. Walking at graduation is just icing on the cake for this surfer (I know!) and new high school graduate.

If only every teenager had this drive ...

When your kid whines that algebra is too hard or moans that they don't have time to clean their room, how about telling them this:

Patrick Ivison spent seven years working toward that one moment on the stage. After years of surgeries, he went through hours of intensive (and expensive -- the Ivison family has a fundraising website because insurance wasn't helping) physical therapy every week. And it worked. He'll be able to live his dream not just of walking at graduation but going to college without his mom in tow to care for him (his 4.0 GPA certainly helps too). Check out the emotional moment:


 


OK! Now that I'm done wiping the tears, I'm not sure what amazes me more: the advancements in medicine that have allowed a kid with a spinal cord injury to learn to walk after more then a decade in a wheelchair or the sheer grit that it took this particular teenager to walk across that stage. I know adults who wouldn't have that wherewithal to put themselves through all the training it took to get Patrick there. And he's still "just" a kid.

His parents have apparently instilled in him one of the most valuable lessons a parent can pass on to their child: work hard, for everything. If it seems difficult at the beginning, just imagine how much harder it could be ...

What do you wish you could say to Patrick Ivison today?