College student bonds with special needs boy

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STERLING, Kan. (KAKE) -

Rayf Schmalzried is a 9-year-old boy living in Sterling, Kansas. He's been diagnosed with cerebral palsy and is legally blind. His parents, Amber and John Schmalzried, adopted him and his sister when they were just babies.

"Overall you can, you can give him a hundred diagnosis and it doesn't change anything. He just is who he is," says Amber Schmalzried, Rayf's mom.

Last week, Jake Pieplow visited Rayf's school and immediately bonded with the little boy. Rayf's dad says music is his son's entire world. He's grateful for Pieplow's compassion, "it was, to see it on the video was super because that's just it." 

Pieplow is a music major at Sterling college. He had no idea that beat-boxing is Rayf's favorite musical sound, "it was really special that i could have that impact on someone that i didn't really think much of."

Pieplow hopes he can inspire other people to look past the special needs,  "just give him a chance. Kids like Rayf and his situation, he understands a lot more than people think he does and he's still a human."

Rayf's parents are thankful people are embracing their son and his playful spirit, "it's finally, you know, coming to light a little bit that he's just a normal little boy." 

If you would like to follow along with Rayf's journey, check out this Facebook page. 

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