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Johnny Agar competing in Disney Marathon, surprised with message live on Sports Center

Posted at 11:10 PM, Jan 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-03 23:10:53-05

ROCKFORD, Mich. -- Johnny Agar is a Rockford hometown hero whose story has gone national. He's an athlete with cerebral palsy, and in a few weeks he's adding another accomplishment to his list, which includes an Under Armor campaign.

Johnny will walk the last mile of the Disney Marathon in just a few weeks.

Johnny's dad Jeff Agar pushes him in the races they run together. Strollers aren't typically allowed in the marathon, but Johnny's mother Becki says the Disney people gave them the okay to compete.

The best part is that Scott Van Pelt, one of Johnny's idols and friends, surprised him by breaking the news on ESPN’s SportsCenter. Johnny's parents asked Van Pelt to break the news to Johnny as a surprise. “It was tough, because he’s big on social media,” said Jeff. “He has many thousands of followers, more than I do, and just trying to keep him from knowing what was going on was difficult.”

Johnny’s excited reaction was priceless.

Disney holds a special place in the Agar family's heart. Johnny took his first two steps because his parents "bribed" him at age 3 when they promised him a trip to see Mickey Mouse if he took just one step with each foot. Johnny did it, and he hasn't let anything stop him since.

Now Johnny is ready for hard training until the race and being an example to others. “I hope when I’m walking, kids will see you can accomplish anything if you put your mind to it,” said Johnny. "For me that’s more than sports, I love being an athlete, but that’s taking it to another level."