It took a superstar — almost super human — effort for the youngster to make it across that stage, and we honor him here for that effort
Regular readers of this newspaper will remember Cade, who not quite a year ago was swimming with his family when a tree fell into the stream, striking and paralyzing the then 7-year-old from the waist down and causing a traumatic brain injury. In October, he regained his speech, and since November he has worked with Infinity Children’s Services in Rome twice a week for three hours a day to regain as much independence as possible. Just three weeks ago he took his first steps.
It’s been a tough journey back for young Cade, but last week he celebrated a big step in that journey with some little steps of his own — steps that his classmates, friends and family celebrated with him in a big way.
Third-grade students sitting in the front rows of the crowded auditorium at Pepperell High on Wednesday were the first to get a glimpse of their classmate waiting his turn behind thick stage curtains to claim his certificate of completion.
As the Pepperell third-graders were called up from the auditorium to the stage to receive their certificates, perceptive classmates could see Cade waiting in the wings for his chance. When his name was called and Cade began his journey across the stage, his friends erupted in cheers and applause.
Read what our reporter wrote about that moment:
“‘There’s Cade!’ one exclaimed from the crowd. ‘He’s walking! He’s walking!’
“The crowd’s attention zeroed in on Cade, who looked straight ahead and lifted one foot a few inches forward as he leaned on a walker … they came to their feet to cheer Cade across the stage. He turned his head toward the crowd as a voice raised above the rest and exclaimed, ‘You’re the man, Cade!’ He smiled and continued onward.”
He walked step by step in specialized leg braces toward his certificate by utilizing arm and abdominal muscles he had developed in therapy. The steps he took may have been tiny steps, but in another way, they were huge. The 40 feet across the Pepperell High stage was the longest distance he had walked since his injury on June 16, 2011.
His mother, Corinthia Maynor, was by his side as he made that short journey, but to her, it symbolized so much more. She told our reporter that she is already looking ahead to seeing Cade walk across the stage at his high school graduation now that he proved he could muster the strength and determination.
“Being a mom, that’s the first thing you think about,” said Maynor. “When I saw him walking, I said, ‘He’ll be able to walk across the stage and get his diploma.’ It’s amazing how resilient he is. Every day he continues to get better. He has been through so much to overcome so much.”
The song that Cade’s classmates sang as the ceremony began seems apropos to the journey they have ahead of them:
“Walking together, facing tomorrow, we know we’re not alone,” they sang. “Ready to make it, ready to take it, ready for paths unknown.”
With that kind of support from family, friends and classmates, Cade has overcome a lot in the past year, and we’re betting that he will overcome much more.
There is a long path ahead, but Cade, his family and his classmates are walking together, and he knows he is not alone. Cade may have many “paths unknown” still ahead of him, but he has already shown us he is a superstar..
We hope to see many more of his achievements over the years to come. And we’re looking forward to the PHS Class of 2021 graduation to see his mother’s dream come true.
In an incident so memorable that it is recorded in all four Gospels, Jesus told a paralytic to pick up his bed and walk. Cade Maynor is taking that command seriously and stepping out in courage every day.