TULSA, Okla. — Keith Boyd says he's a normal, everyday ninth grader at Memorial High School who just happens to have cerebral palsy. If you ask him if he thinks he's special, he'll respond - "Not at all, because I'm just a normal human (just) wheeling it around."
Keith communicates with a computer that reflects light from his pupils back onto the screen. He types with his eyes and the computer speaks for him. His favorite place to hang out Tulsa's Gathering Place.
"My go to spot is the park," Keith said through his computer. "It is a fun and challenging place to drive my wheelchair."
As he "wheels around" the Skate Park with his dad, Keith's mind races on ways to break down obstacles to others just like him. He's been doing this since he was very young.
"Yes, because I see other people facing things like stairs and we have to travel extra mileage to get to that area," Keith said.
Keith organized volunteers who ran lemonade stands raising money for the Little Light House, a group providing therapeutic services for children with special needs. He also had "Keith's Ice Cold Beverages" sold in over 100 locations in Oklahoma. His father James says every second of every day, his son does what he can to change perceptions about those with disabilities.
"He wants to go out there and do that for the community," James said. "To come out here and say 'Hey, you can do anything! Look at me!!'"
Every chance he gets, Keith inspires others. Even those completely opposite him in every respect. One chance encounter has led to a lifelong friendship.
"Now we're buds you know," said Tony Moore, the Executive Director of the Gathering Place. "It made me feel so good to see Keith in the park, enjoying the park in a natural way."
James couldn't be more proud of his son, who stayed positive even when his own health hit rock bottom.
"A long time ago, he had a choice whether he wanted to keep battling with his body or just kind of give up," James said. "He chose to keep battling."
Keith's battle continues today, to give those with disabilities a voice, even if it's not their own.
"Be patient and treat us as equals," Keith said.
"I think there's a lot we can learn from Keith," said Tony.
"It's just who Keith is," said James. "He has a good heart, he's a good person and he's very impactful. He's going to make a difference."
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