Ryan King is a fourth-grader at Tully Elementary School just outside Louisville, Kentucky. But because of her spina bifida, a congenital defect that occurs when the spinal cord and spinal cord do not form properly, she is in a wheelchair. And that makes school trips kind of difficult.
"We had trips before, where we couldn't go and the school gave us alternative educational days," Ryan's mother, Shelly King, told CNN.
"But when she goes back to school, all her peers and classmates talk about commuting so she doesn't have the same experience," she said. "And when she's not there, the kids really miss her, too."
While most flight trips are accessible, this one was a bit more adventurous. The class would see open fossil beds along the Ohio River. King really didn't want Ryan to miss.
"I found this backpack that a friend sent me and grabbed and said I would just carry it so I could try it," she said.
She had explained all this to Ryan's teacher when a fellow elementary school teacher, Jim Freeman, came in and said, "I'm happy to experience her at the waterfalls all day long!"
"He knows who he is It's Ryan, but they didn't have any previous personal relationships, "King said." I don't think he had any idea what a big impact it would have on so many different people. "
The kids in the class loved that Ryan was part of their day, laughing because she threw herself a pig around the waterfall as they had to walk.
"We are blessed in our school ̵
But the biggest thing that Mr. Freeman did for Ryan? He gave her independence.
" She doesn't want mom to stick with everything. " , said King.