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Caldwell teen with MD gets early Xmas present

Posted: 6:40 PM, Dec 03, 2016
Updated: 2016-12-03 20:54:58-05

A Treasure Valley teenager, who has been wheelchair bound his entire life, received an early Christmas present Saturday from a complete stranger.

The donor wants to remain anonymous but hopes the story inspires others to somehow give back to their community this holiday season and beyond.

"My transportation is my bus," explained 13-year-old Skyers Ruplinger.

Ruplinger attends classes at Syringa Middle School in Caldwell.

The bus picks him up right outside of his home but the pathway leading up to the edge of the roadway in his wheelchair is rocky. It makes him nervous that he will tip over.

The anonymous donor saw what was going on and decided to do something about it. The individual recruited some volunteers from the College of Idaho's football team who were happy to pitch in.

"He's a cool kid, he has a lot of personality to him, so, it's awesome," said Michael Kirby, Yotes football running back.

Football was reinstated at the college just a few years back. Kirby says the community's support hasn't gone unnoticed

"They [Caldwell residents] are behind us 100 percent, win or loss, and, so, it's a way for us to give back," he said.

Ruplinger has Muscular Dystrophy, which is a disease that causes weakness over time and an overall loss of muscle mass. He says he tries his best to stay healthy by eating right and exercising daily.

In fact, Ruplinger says making a point to workout is the key to living life with MD.

Thanks to the pathway that is under construction, he will be able to continue on with his mission to inspire others to not let MD get them down.

"My advice is if you have this disease, never give up," Ruplinger said. "Always fight it, and keep working out to keep your body healthy."

The football players will be back out there on Tuesday to see the project clear through to the end. That's when concrete for the brand new ramp will be poured.