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Classmate's disorder leads to school effort

Alec Gaston usually takes his time between the bells at Perrysburg High School, walking to his locker and chatting with friends in the hallways.

Not yesterday.

The high school junior needed those five minutes to power down the hallways in a wheelchair.

The 16-year-old was one of three students and six staff members who spent the day using wheelchairs to raise awareness about classmate Zac Zies' degenerative neuromuscular disorder called Friedreich's ataxia.

Alec said he was surprised at how physically demanding it was to navigate through the school in a wheelchair. It was tricky to open the doors, to roll around the crowds in the hallway. His arms ached.

"The kids that are in these wheelchairs - I have no idea how they do it every day," Alec said. "My daily routine has just been thrown off. I can't talk to people in the hallways. I'm literally trying to get from A to B."

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