Muskego fifth grader's kind gesture creates friendship, inspires others

NOW: Muskego fifth grader’s kind gesture creates friendship, inspires others

MUSKEGO (CBS 58) -- A kind gesture from one fifth grade student in Muskego to another has had a snowball effect. 

Other kids are following in his footsteps, bringing joy and friendships to kids with different abilities. 

Grant Schaal goes to Muskego Lakes Middle School. He plays on the football team. The week of homecoming, he had an idea for his football jersey. 

"I thought that Mikayla was kind of like left out because nobody really wanted to hang out with her so I chose to play with her and give her my jersey," said Schall. 

Mikayla Burback is also a fifth grader at Muskego Lakes Middle School. She was born  with a rare neurological condition, where she is constantly having seizures. 

"The biggest fear you have as a parent when you have a child who isn’t like everyone else is this feeling and this fear that they’re going to be isolated and they’re going to be secluded and people are going to literally walk by them not seeing who they are or realizing how special and incredible they can be," said Missy Burback, Mikayla's mom.

"So for a young fifth grade boy to see her for who she is and what she can do and not what she can’t do, and to want to go out his way to pull her in to include her to give her this experience, to even have those thoughts of that young of an age of ‘Hey this is something that I can do that will make a difference' was just so incredibly mind blowing."

Burback got to wear the jersey to the homecoming game. 

"I thought it was incredibly cool that a fifth grader would have a heart big enough to notice the impact he can make," said Jared Burback, Mikayla's dad. 

Schall's gesture inspired other students. The next week six more football players from his school shared their jerseys with kids with different abilities. Other schools are also starting to catch on. 

"The cool thing has been watching it kind of all take flight and to see the kids all get involved and get such joy," said Missy Burback, "It truly is the kids that deserve all the recognition. It is because of their goodness, their thoughts, their hearts that all of this has happened."

On Thursdays, football players have been bringing the jerseys to the home of the kids they are sharing them with, giving them a chance to hang out and create lasting friendships. 

"I think it makes her feel really happy and it makes me feel happy, too because I get to be with her," said Grant Schaal. 

Grant's dad, sitting next to him as he spoke, became emotional. 

"As a parent you hope your kids can do something, I never dreamed it would be this," said Greg Schaal. 

A fifth grader creating lasting friendships through a simple act of kindness for Mikayla and her parents. 

"Thank you is never going to be enough for Grant to show how grateful we are for what this one gesture has done for her and for us."


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