GONZALES, LA (WAFB) - A student at Central Primary School who has special needs is being recognized with a trip to Disney World. He won the prize through a popular radio program, The Kidd Kraddick Morning Show.
Anthony Zimmerle is a 4th grader who truly embraces every chance to learn something new. While he admits math is his favorite subject, he is quick to share the other reasons he likes going to school. "I enjoy my friends, lunch, and recess, P.E. too," Zimmerle said.
Anthony is like most kids in his class, except his days start much earlier than most. Anthony has cystic fibrosis. The disease causes lung infections and limits a person's ability to breathe. His grandfather, Micah Murchie, or "Gramps" as he calls him, says few people truly understand Anthony's struggle.
"He gets up. He's got a shaker vest that goes on him and two breathing treatments he has to do. He's in his vest for 30 minutes. It shakes his body up and breaks the stuff up so he can get it [mucus] out. The breathing treatments are to open his lungs," Murchie said.
He says Anthony also has to take several pills a day, but if you look at him, you wouldn't know it. His reading teacher, Laura Freeman, says Anthony is all heart. "He's always available for a hug or a great smile," Freeman said.
Anthony's personality has won folks over at the The Kidd Kraddick Morning Show. He's one of 50 kids with a life-altering condition to win an all expenses paid trip to Disney World through a program called Kidd's Kids.
"The envelope came in the mail one day and I was the first to open it and I hit the ground in shock and we've all been super excited since then," Murchie said.
Before now, Anthony had never even heard of Disney World. "I never knew until they told me I got picked," Zimmerle said.
But he has a few friends who have been, and Anthony has been taking note of which rides he should go on first. "Splash Mountain, Space Mountain," Zimmerle said.
His classmates have decorated the hallways of their school to help Anthony celebrate his journey. He can hardly wait. "I really want to go now," Zimmerle said.
Gramps says Anthony has made such great strides in the last year, he can't think of a better way to celebrate. "Just to watch him explode. He may have a heart attack just being so excited. He deserves it, absolutely deserves 100 percent of all of this," Murchie said.
A student in East Baton Rouge Parish was also selected to go on the trip. Click here to see the other winners.