WASHINGTON – The photo is heartbreaking: A young boy in a wheelchair strains his neck to appear closer to his classmates, who have been positioned at least a foot to his right.
The end-of-the-year class photo certainly broke Anne Belanger’s heart when she saw her 7-year-old son, Miles Ambridge, separated from the rest of his class, reports The Province.
Belanger, from New Westminster, British Columbia, tells the paper she was disgusted when she received the photo in the mail.
“Look at the angle that he was in,” Belanger tells the paper. “He’s ostracized. He wants to be part of the gang so much.”
Miles has spinal muscular atrophy, which according to the Muscular Dystrophy Association is a genetic disease affecting the part of the nervous system that controls voluntary muscle movement.
The Province reports that Miles was diagnosed when he was 13 months old.
After Belanger posted the photo on the company’s Facebook page, Lifetouch Canada removed it.
Belanger posted it again, blocking out the other children’s faces.
After being contacted by the school principal, Lifetouch finally agreed to retake the photo.
This time, Miles was out of his wheelchair and was seated on the bench next to his classmates with the help of a caregiver, The Province reports.
Read the full story from The Province and see more photos here.
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Photos and stories by the Associated Press from 70 years ago this week.