RICHLAND, WA – There is a certain feeling of accomplishment you get after running a marathon. But it is a feeling a local man might have never experienced in his lifetime without the help of some inspirational volunteers.
Because of his severe cerebral palsy, Chucky Maugh spends most of his time in a wheelchair that he cannot push. Sunday, he became a marathon runner.
"I want him to feel that wind in his face, the joy, the pride knowing that he accomplished something," said Megan Fort of Arc of the Tri-Cities and Chucky's friend.
Thanks to Arc of the Tri-Cities and over 20 volunteers who took turns each mile to give chucky a push, he found that experience.
"Inclusion shouldn't just be in places where it's convenient. Inclusion can take place everywhere," explained Fort.
It is hard for Chucky to feel included in a lot of things, so when a chance like this came along his friend Megan wanted him to experience this gift.
"He's never been the athlete and this time he has. I think he feels on top of the world and I'm really excited for him," said Fort.
It was not just Chucky's experience. Everyone who helped him realize his goal took something away from the marathon run.
"It makes me feel amazing," said volunteer and chair pusher Yuriy Zinchuk. "It makes me feel like I'm doing something that matters."
As chucky came around the final bend before the finish line, his friends and family said they saw something in him that they had never seen; that one of a kind feeling.
"It was that same smile but it was a little different. I mean you could tell he was like, wow I just did this and look at me. Everybody look at me and see what I'm doing," said Fort. "It just made me feel so good inside to know that he was able to do this and we were all able to take part in it."
As part of the organizing the run, the group raised funds online for two new chairs that can help disabled people experience the running like Chucky. The chairs will be used by the people helped by Arc for years to come.