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When I was in middle school, I met a boy named David Han. He was blind. Observing how he and others dealt with his handicap opened my eyes to a new perspective on disabilities, and helped me grow as an empathetic and helpful member of the community. I began to think of what it would be like to be in his place.

We met in 6th grade, when we had the same P.E. class. He needed someone to guide him when he ran, so I offered to help, and we started to talk. I found that he was a smart and kind human being, and I began to think how unfair it was that he was disabled, because he deserved better. I did not talk to him much until he joined the school band 2 years later. I was pretty amazed that he could play so well, because he had never picked up the instrument before. To add to the challenge, his music was in braille, and he had to memorize it in order to play in all of our concerts. I was pretty impressed by this, because no one else memorized their music. He also came with us when our band visited Disneyland. He was a really good sport- he came on all the rides with us and everything! Later that year, our class went to Yosemite. He was in my hiking group, and I was amazed that he could hike in the snow with us and go through everything without any problems. Watching David cope with his disability and live his life has brought me to think differently about others, and helped me understand what they are going through. It led me to volunteer for the AYSO VIP event last year, where I played soccer and went fishing with handicapped and disabled people.

David showed me something special, that disabled people can be just as able as everyone else. Knowing him really changed me positively as a person, and for that I will always be grateful.