CABARRUS COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - The entire student body at Northwest Cabarrus High School in Concord came out Tuesday morning to surprise one senior. Eighteen-year-old Christian Heavner is everyone's friend. He has lived his life with cerebral palsy.
We've told stories before about how Charlotte-based charity Dream on 3 makes sports dreams come true for local kids... many times #MollysKids.
But Tuesday was more than just Dream On 3. Christian's fellow students raised the money and helped organize a magnificent VIP sendoff that blew everyone away.
It began with Christian being brought onto the football field, and his fellow students sharing that he was being sent to see his favorite baseball team, the New York Yankees. To help with his send-off was one his favorite sports heroes - Carolina Panthers safety Kurt Coleman.
MOBILE USERS: CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS FROM THE SURPRISE EVENT
"This is very selfless," Coleman said. "When you look at the whole student body out here rallying for one student. I've never seen a whole student body get behind one person like they are here."
Coleman met Christian at a gala in January and never forgot him. When asked what drew him to Christian, the NFL star kept it simple.
"His love of sports, his personality, and jokes," he said. "He was humble and funny. And we loved talking about all different kinds of sports."
Christian knew Dream On 3 was going to grant him a sports dream, but he didn't know what and he didn't know when. He started to get a clue when wheeled onto the field today. He got emotional when Kurt told all 1,200 students listening that he was impacting many lives, and inspiring him in his own.
Right about then, a helicopter landed on the field – another surprise.
Christian, his mom and his sister got helped inside the helicopter. They were being flown to Concord Regional Airport where a plane was waiting to take them all to New York for two days full of more surprises, including time with the New York Yankees and some of their players.
MOBILE USERS: CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS OF CHRISTIAN'S NY TRIP
The school waved them off amongst screams and cheers from 1,200 teenagers.
"This is beyond what we've ever imagined," said stepfather John Basille. "This is awesome."
He then told us Christian is the most giving, loving guy around.
"He's changed me from day one," Basille said. "He always makes me remember what's important."
The sentiment was echoed from the NFL star.
"This is what life should be about," Coleman said. "People rally behind others to create experiences. When you get to do that, you experience a great moment yourself. This is something we all can learn from as a people and a world. Let's help one another."
To find out more about Dream On 3, you can visit www.dreamon3.org.