WDAY: The News Leader

Published December 03, 2012, 06:12 PM

Fergus Falls student with spina bifida receives early Christmas present

Fergus Falls, MN (WDAY TV) - Sometimes the greatest gifts come "unwrapped." Something not anticipated, but life changing.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY Staff Reports, WDAY

Fergus Falls, MN (WDAY TV) - Sometimes the greatest gifts come "unwrapped." Something not anticipated, but life changing.

And in Fergus Falls, a second grade girl has learned that a beloved school janitor not only takes pride in keeping the school clean, Mark Moore cares about his kids.

Learning in Mrs. Moore's classroom just got a whole lot easier and more comfortable for 7-year-old Haily Merchant.

When the precocious and bubbly 2nd grader recently had her wheelchair adjusted, the changes did not allow her to fit beneath her desk.

Haily Merchant, 2nd Grade Student: “My wheelchair was really wide and my desk was really small.”

The school tried a table, but...

Nancy Reard, Adams Elem. Special Ed.” Kids want to be like everyone else, to be accepted and have access like everyone else does.”

And so that is when the school's popular janitor Mark Moore got involved.

Reard: “A wonderful man, to go above and beyond to help Haily.”

He and some other volunteers, cut, welded and created a new desk for Haily, one that fits her perfectly.

Mark Moore, Adams Elem. Maintenance: “This here was on the inside and that is why we she could not fit here, so we moved it to the outside.”

Merchant: “It is awesome and I like it.”

And Mark and his crew not only made the desk bigger but added a leg on the side to it was not so heavy on one side and tippy.

Merchant: “It is awesome.”

Haily uses a wheelchair because she was born with Spina Bifida. The good news, her new desk is even adjustable.

Moore: “I am glad she is happy, she can use it 4th, 5th grade. She can use it forever.”

Reard: “On his own, and gathered his friends and did this wonderful thing for Haily and did not cost the school district any.”

Merchant: “And I think wow. It is just awesome.”

She said it is just like everyone else's.

Christmas just came a little early to Adams elementary. It's just that Santa came in the form of some caring men who decided that giving to their own little angel, sure feels better than receiving.

The man behind the gift, Mark Moore, is married to Haily's 2nd grade teacher.

She came home from school one day to find Mark using a table saw cutting pieces for the new desk, in their living room.