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Teen with Spina Bifida Hoists Self out of Wheelchair for National Anthem

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Patriotism can overcome a lot.

Case in point: Arek Trenholm, who was born with spina bifida, a condition that impairs the development of his spinal cord.

Trenholm, 16, has been living his life from a wheelchair for 10 years now, but that didn’t stop him from paying his respects to the American flag during a recent parade in Leesburg, Florida.

Trenholm’s uncle, Myron Leggett, owns and operates a photography studio in Leesburg, and the family had gathered outside to watch the high school homecoming parade.

“My sister just called out, ‘He’s standing!’ And instantly, I knew what he was doing,” Leggett told ABC News.

As the local high school’s junior ROTC program marched by with the America flag, Trenholm hoisted himself up in his wheelchair with his arms, and Leggett was able to snap the picture.

“To all of ‘Those’ that refuse to stand for the Flag of the United States of America,” Leggett captioned the Facebook post he made around the photo (quotes his), “this is my nephew Arek Trenholm … He will never be able to ‘play’ football, if he could, he would ‘Stand’ as the flag passed or when the ‘National Anthem’ is played. Take a lesson!”

“He didn’t have to do that. He has an excuse to stay seated,” Leggett told ABC. “Nobody told him, nobody encouraged him and he did it on his own. I admire him for that and I’m very proud of him.”

Leggett’s comment comes after San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has made headlines for kneeling during the playing of the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial inequality in America.