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A group of Carolina students heard about the story of a 12-year old boy from Morganton, N.C. suffering from Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy and decided to treat him to a special day in Chapel Hill.
Anthony Hernandez, 12, is a devout Carolina fan.
He also suffers from Emery-Driefuss muscular dystrophy, which has bound him to a wheelchair and makes it painful for him to do basic things like shaking hands, opening a door, or using a pen.
Earlier this school year, Anthony drew a picture for his teacher — the famous interlocking “N” and “C” logo that is synonymous with Carolina.
The drawing brought his teacher to tears, as she recognized the pain that it would have caused Anthony to complete the picture.
When Taylor Sharp ’16 — another Morganton native — received a text message from the teacher, he and Marcus Paige ’16 were taken aback, and saw an opportunity to give Anthony an unforgettable day at Carolina.
Word began to spread about Anthony’s visit, and support poured in from the Carolina community.
Anthony was expecting a simple tour of the UNC campus with his family and teacher, but ended up having a day-long experience that he called “a dream” throughout.
The day started with a special greeting at the Tri Delta sorority house, where a large “Welcome, Anthony!” sign was hanging from the front porch.
From there, Anthony and his family were taken to Sutton’s Drug Store for lunch, where they were greeted by two surprise guests — Paige ’16 and Leslie McDonald ’14, two members of the UNC men’s basketball team.
After lunch, he was taken to see the Old Well and finally to the Smith Center.
Anthony was treated to one more surprise: When head coach Roy Williams heard about Anthony’s story and the student-led effort to give him a great visit, Anthony and his family were given an all-access tour of the facilities and an invitation to watch the team practice.
Carolina students helped make Anthony’s dreams come true and gave him a once-in-a-lifetime Carolina experience.
One University. One Student Body. ONE CAROLINA.