from CNN iReport….
Thanks to iReporter Joel David Hinrichs, CNN has obtained additional photos of Ben Baltz, the 11-year-old boy who won the hearts of the internet this week.
This past Sunday, Ben took part in Florida’s Sea Turtle Tri Kids triathlon. Not the typical athlete, Ben lost his right leg to bone cancer at the tender age of six, having his fibula and tibia removed. He now uses a mechanical knee and prosthetic leg to help him walk.
Ben had already swam 150 yards, biked 4 miles and had powered halfway through his one-mile run when a screw came loose and his running leg broke in half.
Meanwhile, Kim Baltz waited at the finish line wondering why her son hadn’t crossed yet.
“It was only a mile, I knew he was tired, I was like, ‘Where is he, where is he, where is he?’” she told CNN iReport.
But before further worry set in, she heard the announcer tell the crowd to turn around and look at what was happening on the course. What followed was a heartwarming display that she’ll never forget.
Matthew Morgan, Private First Class at Marine Detachment Corry Station, took notice when Ben’s leg broke and carried him on his back for the remainder of the one-mile stretch, accompanied by his fellow Marines.
The photos of the Marines were taken by Ben Kruggel and soon after he shared them with iReport, the story went viral –- gaining more than 225,000 views and getting reposted on sites likeBuzzFeed, The Huffington Post, and The Daily Mail, among countless others. Ben and Private Morgan also appeared on last night’s HLN’s Evening Express.
But the story didn’t stop there. iReporter Joel David, who attended the event to support his 9-year-old sister, sent in additional photos of Ben competing in the race before his prosthetic leg broke.Share on Facebook