In 2012 a boy with amputated legs named Ben Baltz, was then 11-year-old, joined the Sea Turtle triathlon for kids and completed the 150-yard swim and three-mile bike ride. He was half-mile close to finish line when his prosthetics wobbled. Moments later, the screws that connect the knee and leg came loose and he went down. As the boy lay on the ground, Private First Class Matthew Morgan came to the scene, picked Ben up and carried him on his back so he could finish the race. They were surrounded by Morgan’s fellow Marines.
“As the group came into view, everyone started cheering louder than usual, and I saw more than a few people crying as they crossed the finish line,” an observer told CNN.
Ben was 6 years old when he was diagnosed with early stage of Osteosarcoma. His doctors were forced to cut his fibula and tibia to stop the cancer cells from spreading.
Ben is now cancer free and uses two different prosthetics – one for strenuous activity and one for everyday movement. He takes part in different sports like soccer and baseball – where he serves as bat boy for the Wounded Warriors Amputee Baseball Team. He also participated in a deep-sea fishing trip with other cancer patients and survivors.
‘We want to give him the message that he can do anything,’ Kim Baltz, Ben mother said.
‘And he has an inspirational story and he just needs to be thankful that he is able to do it because there are a lot of kids out there that are still fighting cancer. We just want him to get out there and participate in life.’