For a long time, his friend's arms would tire from manually pushing himself around. So the teen decided to do something about it.
For Brandon Qualls, making his way through the school was a lot different when compared to his peers. Qualls had to manually push his wheelchair, making it a difficult task for him to go from one class to another. But as is the case with anyone who cares about you, they will do everything in their capacity to make your life easier. For Brandon, that person was Tanner Wilson.
While he would still be around to help Brandon out whenever needed, Tanner wanted to see his friend independent and yet comfortable. To make his friend's life easier, this young high schooler invested diligently into something that would bring the broadest smile on Brandon's face — an electric wheelchair.
"I just felt like I needed to do it and I wanted to do it,” said Tanner, according to THV11. “He’s just been a really good friend and I wanted to do him a favor.”
But even though he had the big heart to do it, it wasn't easy. Tanner has been working a part-time job at a car mechanic shop, and part of what he has been earning was going into savings for the last 2 years, all so that he could do this for his friend. And he's glad he did.
"For the past three years I've wanted to get him one and I mean, I've been trying," said Tanner, as reported by KARK. Finally, when the time was right, he got the right electric wheelchair and surprised Brandon during class with it. The moment was priceless for the two of them. Tanner will always remember the expression Brandon had, making him believe that his efforts were totally worth it. “He’s just been a really good friend and I wanted to do him a favor,” Tanner said.
“They came in and my face just blew up…crying everywhere…just like ‘Wow, can’t believe he did that for me!’” said Brandon.
For Brandon, it meant so much to him because for years he had to push himself around the school. “My arms would get really tired and I would have to stop and take rests,” said Brandon. But one young boy with a heart of gold was able to change that. Brandon had no idea what was coming his way. With tears in his eyes, he said, "It was amazing because I didn't know what he had done for me."
"It's been my dream to just have one of these," said Brandon, as reported by CNN. "And my dream came true." Tanner is just the kind of friend who would understand the needs of his friends and try to fulfill them. He said, "I feel like life is a little too short to, you know, be judging everybody and you should think more of others than just yourself."
With the help of one of his teachers, Tanner also got the wheelchair decorated with Brandon's favorite color and with flames, too. Their teacher Ginger Wray said, "When he came by I said 'Brandon, you got to have some flames on there because you're going to be buzzing down these halls in no time!' So I went home and made him some flames."
For Tanner, the past year has been rough. And seeing how meaningful his gesture was to Brandon was the payoff he never expected. When he sees messages from people appreciating him for the compassion he showed, it has given him all the upliftment he needed, explained his mother, Colleen Carmack. She mentioned that her son "had some bad experiences over the last year, so him being able to help somebody else has really brought him out — being able to know that he made a difference. And I can see a difference in him — like wanting to get out and do more. We're talking about college. He's had that goal, but he's talking about it more now."
"They both deserve the attention because they're both great and wonderful kids," said Colleen. She's not surprised by his behavior at all because it's completely like Tanner to pay attention to the needs of others. Colleen said, "That's him. He's always been about everybody else and not himself," she said. "We let him know, you get nowhere being mean."
Both Tanner and Brandon are undoubtedly glad to have each other in their lives. Colleen said, "They talk about cars a lot and trucks and that kind of stuff. I'm really proud of both of them."
Right now, Brandon has to leave his new wheelchair behind at the school because his parents don't have a vehicle that can transport it. "His parents don't have a way to get his wheelchair home," said Colleen. "It is stuck at school right now. Their vehicle is not wheelchair accessible."
But hopefully, that will soon have a solution, too. While Brandon's continues to whizz past people down the school halls, Tanner is pleased to see his friend happy with his new wheelchair. Tanner said, "Kids ask me was it worth it was it worth it? Yeah, 100 percent."