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Tobias Bass: Spreading the love, one 5k at a time

Tobias Bass completed another race for someone else Saturday, pushing one of his friends across the finish line.
by Jenni Carlson Published: January 26, 2014

Zepherine Miller stood just beyond the finish line, a camera in her hand and a smile on her face.

The electronic timing chips chirped as she watched other runners finish the 5k.

“I'm ready to see my baby cross the finish line,” she said, laughing.

She never dreamed she'd see it.

Her son Ta'Shawn has cerebral palsy and several other medical issues that have confined him to a wheelchair. He can't walk, much less run. But Saturday morning, he finished a 5k.

Tobias Bass was his legs.

The story of the 11-year-old and his brother Titus has rippled far and wide. Tobias wanted to push Titus, who has severe disabilities, in a 5k, so he wrote a letter to a local TV station looking for help. A jogging stroller was donated, Tobias' goal became reality and everyone from Kevin Durant to “The View” took notice.

But in that letter, Tobias also told of a dream to push other disabled kids in races, to give them a chance to experience what Titus did.

We shared his vision a few weeks ago in The Oklahoman, and the ripples continued.

Both adults and kids wanted to help push. Someone offered to do anything to help, saying, “Nothing is too big or too small.” Someone else donated another jogging stroller.

So, Saturday morning at Oklahoma Christian University's Holiday Hustle, postponed by bad weather in December and moved to January, Tobias pushed Ta'Shawn while Titus got a ride courtesy of 12-year-old volunteers Sam Dent and Andrew Kincaid.

“What happens if we hit the speed bumps?” Sam asked with a worrisome look at the rubber mats covering cords at the starting line.

“You just go over it,” Tobias said.

“It won't tip us over?”

Tobias shook his head.

“Just follow me,” he said.

After the pre-race prayer, all of the boys were introduced over the loud speaker.

“We're proud of you guys,” the announcer said. “Thank you for being here.”

Ta'Shawn's mom watched the pre-race scene and could hardly keep from crying.

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by Jenni Carlson
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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