Anything is possible when you have a good friend to support you through tough times. A disabled boy in China has been able to attend class for six years without any issue thanks to his classmate and best friend who gives him a piggyback every day.
Xu Bingyang, 12, carries Zhang Ze to school regardless of the weather. The kind-hearted boy also helps his friend to get lunch and move between classrooms to attend different lessons.
The friendship between the pair from Meishan city in south-western China’s Sichuan Province has made headline in China earlier this month.
Xu, informed reporters that it was his pleasure to be his friend’s ‘walking stick’. He added that it wasn’t difficult to lift Zhang.‘I weigh more than 40kg (88 pounds) and Zhang Ze only weighs about 25kg (55 pounds), so it’s okay for me to carry him,‘ Xu said.
On the other hand, Zhang said he couldn’t thank Xu enough for his benevolence. ‘Xu Bingyang is my best friend. Every day, he studies with me, chats with me and plays with me. [I] thank him for looking after me like this every day,’ Zhang explains.
Xu and Zhang are sixth-grade pupils at the Hebazi Town Central Primary School in the county of Qingshen. Zhang was diagnosed with a rare muscle condition, sometimes known as the rag doll disease, at the age of four.
The incurable condition, known as myasthenia gravis, caused Zhang to lose all control of his voluntary muscles in his legs. As a result he can’t walk on his own. Fortunately, Zhang has been able to go to school like other children after Xu offered to help him as soon as they met in the first grade.
This prevents messages being passed from the nerve endings to the muscles, which results in the muscles not contracting (tightening) and becoming weak.
It is not fully understood why some people’s immune systems produce antibodies that attack the muscle receptor cells. Xu considers it his responsibility to help those in need. He said: ‘I am bigger than him. I thought if I didn’t help him, nobody else would.’
The journey for the pair hasn’t been easy, it generally takes the two boys three minutes to move from the classroom to the toilet, which are roughly 70 metres apart.
To cover the short distance, Xu would gently hold Zhang by the hand or lift him up from the side, whenever there are stairs, Xu would carry Zhang on his back.
Xu also helps Zhang refill his water bottle, hand in his homework and go to the bathroom. Which takes dedication, patience and perseverance.
Zhang was helped by Xu and another boy for roughly three years in total. However according to one teacher, the other pupil pulled out during the third grade because he said he didn’t have spare time to play or study.
‘For so many years, [Xu] has continued doing good deeds and never complained in front of the teachers and classmates,’ the teacher remarked, adding that Xu is hardworking, down-to-earth and very mature.
It seems not even Xu’s mother was aware of her son’s selfless behavior at the beginning. She said her shy son never spoke about his action in the family and she only found out about it from the other pupils.
Xu’s biggest wish is to help others around him and volunteer for the society when he grows up.
Take a look at the video below to see Xu carry his friend.
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