Heights Students 'Rallying For Ross'

By: Jordan Shefte Email
By: Jordan Shefte Email

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High school can be an intimidating place where it's easy to get lost in the crowd. But at Heights High School, one student is making his mark despite a disability.

His name is Ross McFarland and as a child he was diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy, but he hasn't let the disease define him.

Instead, his positive attitude has earned him a school full of supporters, who are Rallying for Ross.

"He's really just like every other kid, except he's the most positive kid I have for sure," said Heights High teacher Monica Talbott.

Ross McFarland is a senior at Heights, and you could say he's the big man on campus.

"You could go into any room at this school and say 'Who all knows Ross?' and every hand would literally go up," said Ross' friend, Grant Walker.

It's hard not to notice Ross, who travels the halls in a power chair with his service dog, Sadie, by his side. Most say it's not his disability that's noticeable, but instead it's his ability to remain positive.

"Whenever you ask Ross how he is, it doesn't matter how he's feeling and he always says he's great," Talbott said. "That's pretty much Ross in a nutshell."

The school support for Ross became even more apparent during homecoming this year. One day of Spirit Week was designated 'We Love Ross' day.

"It was a day all about Ross, literally all about Ross," Walker said.

"We had a bunch of girls that went out and made lime green tutus and hand made 'We Love Ross' shirts." Talbott said. "I don't think a lot of work got done that day, and the atmosphere was amazing,"

"It's wonderful to see all these students at Heights come to say 'Hi' to me," Ross said.

"It was something else," Ross' mother, Bev McFarland said. "I've never seen anything like it and it made my heart sing."

When Ross was recently asked to escort one of the homecoming candidates at a school pep rally, the students couldn't contain their excitement.

"When they mentioned Ross's name, it really was like there was a rock star or celebrity in the building," Talbott said. "The crowd went wild."

A school of supporters for a student full of spirit.

"He deserves it. He's a great kid, special to us all," Walker said. "Heights really does love Ross."

To raise awareness about Muscular Dystrophy, the fifth annual Rosstoberfest Run will take place on Saturday. All of the proceeds will go to the organization Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy.

To register for the event, you can visit the link we have posted below.

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