6-year-old with cerebral palsy accomplishes 1-mile run

Posted: Updated:
CENTRAL VALLEY -

A first-grader’s will to succeed is helping him overcome any challenge put in front of him.

Ethan Chirichella, 6, attends Smith Clove Elementary School in Central Valley and has cerebral palsy.

His mother, Kelly, gave birth to Ethan and his twin sister, Avery, at just 27 weeks. 

His parents were told there was a good chance he would never walk or talk, but they never gave up hope. Neither did his teacher, Vanessa Schares, who says Ethan is a fighter.

"He never wants help, he never wants to hold your hand, he wants to be completely independent,” she says.

Ethan recently took part in a 1-mile run at his school. It required four laps around a 400-meter track. 

He was pushed along by his own determination, and eventually his own cheering section.

"He's been through a lot. And he has every right to say ‘I can't do something,’ but he never does,” says his mother.

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