Student with Cerebral Palsy surprised with new wheelchair to ach - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Student with Cerebral Palsy surprised with new wheelchair to achieve dream of a college education

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IRRIGON, OR. -- Just over a month ago, we told you about Adan Guardado. A student in Irrigon who needed your help to raise money for a brand new wheelchair, so that he could chase his dreams of going to college and becoming a computer technician. Thursday, we were there when Adan got the surprise of a lifetime.

You could say Adan Guardado has been waiting for this moment his entire life. After being abandoned by his mother because of his debilitating Cerebral Palsy, and suffering for years in a wheelchair that barely works, Adan did it. 

Surrounded by his teachers and friends Thursday who were both crying and smiling, Adan celebrated the surprise of getting his brand new wheelchair. 

"It's pretty special," Mark Rouska, Adan's teacher said. "Pretty special. He's earned this. It's nice to see it."

Adan was happy to personally hand over the check for the chair with money he raised. He needed help along the way from his buddy and teacher Mark, from the wheelchair company, and even from you, our viewers.

See, Adan needed to raise $18,000 for this chair. After our story, Adan's fund raising doubled to about $13,000 but still fell short. The manufacturer, who knows Adan well, decided to lower the price just for him. 

"He's got a heart of gold," Richard Kruse from Nu Motion said. "There's nothing that he can't achieve. It's amazing. You see him with the technology and what he's able to do. So he's got a bright future, and if we impede that by not helping him, then we're doing a disservice by him."

In the past month, Mark's had complications from stage 4 lung cancer and has taken a step back from teaching. Thursday was just as important to his life as it is to Adan's.

"It gives me hope," Mark said. "It gives me hope. The doctors say that there's no cure but this came together to fast with the help of the people that it makes me feel like there's always hope. But if not, I've got to see wonderful things in my life and this is one of the best."

Adan quickly learned to drive his new chair. There was only one problem, it didn't go fast enough. Adan can start moving toward his goals. And Mark knows whatever his future holds, he's already helped change the life of one of his best friends. 

"Moments like these make you want to be a teacher," Mark said.