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Rogers middle schooler gifted a new wheelchair by an anonymous donor

Angel Figueroa is a sixth grader at Lingle Middle School in Rogers, and he doesn’t let being in a wheelchair stop him from being on the cross-country team.

ROGERS, Ark. — A Rogers middle schooler got quite the surprise at an assembly Tuesday, Dec. 20. 

Angel Figueroa is a sixth grader at Greer Lingle Middle School and he doesn’t let being in a wheelchair stop him from being part of the cross-country team. He was gifted a brand-new wheelchair by an anonymous donor.

“It was kind of a big surprise that they showed me. I’m really excited to use it because it’s a new wheelchair type that I got,” Angel said.

Angel’s cross-country coach, Robert Hill says he couldn’t be happier for him. He says this wheelchair is sturdy and will be much better for the sport.

“He is a very motivated athlete, he works hard, and he gives 100% every time he shows up for practice, he always shows up with a smile on his face. He gives everything that he has, he's always excited to be at practice. And he's just a joy to coach,” Hill said.

Hill says Angel is the first wheelchair athlete he’s ever coached.

“This is why I keep doing what I'm doing: for somebody like Angel to get involved and excited about the sport—who may have some challenges to overcome, but they're willing to work hard and overcome those challenges if they're just given the opportunity,” said Hill.

Angel’s mom, Edith Figueroa says she is extremely thankful to the people who came together to donate the wheelchair to her son.

“I am so thankful. Just because someone is disabled doesn’t mean there are limits for them and I hope this is an example of that, to not give up and continue with your goals,” she said.

Principal Chip Greenwell says he’s really excited about Angel’s future.

“It was great to see all of his hard work and to get a vision of what his future could hold as well and kind of inspire him... I just want to say thank you to our community,” Greenwell said.

Two Olympic athletes were also there to congratulate Angel: Paralympian Hunter Woodall who ran track for the University of Arkansas and his Olympian wife, Tara Davis Woodhall.

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