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McKINNEY (CBS11) – A kind gesture from a young man with special needs to a 10-year-old boy going through challenges of his own, has offered encouragement to many more who saw the story on social media.

Randy Saunders said he and the other employees at the McKinney Arby’s had just finished serving the main lunch crowd, so he had a few extra moments to reach out to the little boy who looked like he could use some friendly words of advice.

“He looks like he’s not having a very good day. I really do, I feel like I can make an impact on his life,” Saunders said.

Julie Roberson told CBS11 her 10-year-old son Hunter, who suffers from chronic lung disease and a rare form of dwarfism, had just come from a challenging round of therapy.

“He notices people are staring at him, and he doesn’t understand why, and things like that, and that’s kind of starting to bother him,” Roberson said.

Saunders said he knows all too well how that feels.

Born with spina bifida and cerebral palsy, he grew up hearing some say he may never walk on his own, so he decided to tell Hunter how he went on to play baseball and even serve as a student coach in high school and college.

“Whenever I told him don’t let anybody get you down. Don’t let anybody tell you you can’t do anything, I saw it in his eyes that he was really… that he was really taking to what I said,” Saunders said.

“And automatically I knew that there was something there that he could understand some of the challenges that Hunter has gone through. in ways that most people can’t,” Roberson said.

She posted the story on Facebook and received an outpouring of support.

“I felt really special meeting Randy,” Hunter said in a video he recorded at school. “He touched our hearts and told me that you can do something. Don’t let people tell you you can’t do it.”

Hunter’s mom said the two families already have plans for a barbecue together, and they hope this is the beginning of a long friendship.

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