Marines Carry Boy Across the Finish Line as Prosthetic Leg Breaks
During the Sea Turtle Tri kids triathlon last Sunday, a boy’s prosthetic leg broke mid-race, prompting some nearby marines to carry him to the finish line.
11-year-old Ben Baltz from Florida was in the middle of a competitive triathlon, completing the 150-yard swim, 4-mile bike ride, and half of the 1-mile run when his prosthetic leg broke in half.
Luckily for him, help was nearby.
“It was only a mile, I knew he was tired, I was like, ‘Where is he, where is he, where is he?” Ben’s mother, Kim Baltz recounted on CNN. “All of a sudden the announcer just said, ‘Ladies and gentlemen, I want you to turn around and look at what’s happening on the course.’ Everybody was crying. It was just very touching that the Marines were there. They picked him up and everybody was cheering and just giving them support and Ben support.”
Matthew Morgan, Private First Class from Corry Station was volunteering at the event when he saw Ben’s leg broke in the middle of the run. Without question, he lifted the boy up on his shoulders.
“It’s great to see what Marines do – not leave anybody behind – is exemplified in our youngest members of our institution,” Capt. Frank Anderson proudly commended Morgan. “He’s not a very big guy. He picked that young boy up quick, threw him on his back and ran the rest of the course. We’re pumped.”
When he was 6 years old, Ben complained of nagging leg pain after a ski trip. A doctor’s trip confirmed their worst fears, as Ben was diagnosed with early stage Osteosarcoma, causing his right leg to be removed at a young age.
Now a cancer survivor, Ben continues to participate in sports using his prosthetic leg. According to Gulf Coast News, he’s recently served as a bat boy for the Wounded Warriors Amputee Baseball Team and participated in a deep-sea fishing trip with other cancer survivors.
And while Ben was embarrassed for not finishing the race on his own, his parents has some words of encouragement.
“We want to give him the message that he can do anything,” his proud mom added. “He has an inspirational story, and he just needs to be thankful that he is able to do it because there are a lot of kids out there that are still fighting cancer. We just want him to get out there and participate in life.”
Check out Ben’s early videos in 2009 when he just learned how to run.