RANFURLY, Canada (FOX 8) – Aaron Friesen, a 16-year-old from Ranfurly, Canada, has always wanted to drive, but knew it would be a difficult task.
He was born with cerebral palsy and has been in a wheelchair his entire life, according to CBC News.
He entered a contest to win a wheelchair-accessible van. He didn’t win, but still wanted to get a van.
Only problem? They cost about $50,000.
Aaron’s hometown rallied around him, holding fundraisers to help raise the money.
Some time later, the money was raised and the van was bought.
He finished his driver’s ed classes just in time for school.
“I always said I wanted to drive to my first day of Grade 12,” he said. “It’s cool that I actually did it. I’ll be able to drive where I want to now. It’ll just change everything.”
When he arrived at school, things were even better than he expected.
One friend, Conrad Fowler, has driven Aaron for years and was glad to see him drive himself.
“Seeing him drive up to school today, it was amazing,” Conrad said. “I don’t even really have words to say how big an accomplishment that is. Maybe he can drive me now.”
Now Aaron can take himself to school every day without worrying about rides or carpooling.
“My whole life I’ve just kind of wanted to be like everybody else. This is one more thing that’ll just make people forget more about my wheelchair maybe,” Aaron said. “I’m just looking forward to doing it on my own, to finally go out and drive.”