When Dillan McCants arrived at Phoenixville (Pa.) Area High this school year, he didn't know how he would be accepted because of his battle with cerebral palsy. Recently, he discovered the answer.
Fans of the Phantoms stood and applauded as McCants covered 30 feet of the track at a meet last moth, becoming the first Phoenixville athlete with the physical disability to earn a varsity letter in the sport, according to WPVI-TV. The 16-year-old reportedly has been receiving physical therapy treatment with a walker twice a week and had not previously been walking since he was a child.
"Everyone has a place in their life where they feel like they can't do something, but I said, 'You can do the impossible!'" Phoenixville track coach Dustin Poole told the local ABC affiliate. Also a teacher's assistant who has taken McCants under his wing, Poole added, "The moment when it happened and he walked across that finish line, I was in tears — the greatest moment in my coaching career ever."
McCants has already begun preparing for another meet. However, as reported by WPVI-TV, his home recently suffered smoke damage from a fire at a neighboring home and the family's van was also damaged by flood water, so this recent bit of good news was a welcome distraction this Mother's Day.
"They are the best people I've ever met — the people at Phoenixville High School," McCants told the local television news station. "And it's one of the best schools I've ever been, too."