A sixth grader in southern China is winning praises on social media for being the reliable friend many adults can only dream of ever having.
Xu Bingyang, 12, has been carrying his best friend, Zhang Ze, to their school in Meishan, Sichuan province every day for six years, come rain or shine.
Zhang is diagnosed with myasthenia gravis, a lifelong neuromuscular condition that causes weakness in the skeletal muscles — or those responsible for breathing and moving parts of the body, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Such parts include one’s arms and legs, and for this reason, Zhang has been unable to move with ease from age 4.
Xu and Zhang met during first grade, and since then, the former has offered to be of help.
“I’m bigger than him. I thought that if I didn’t help him, nobody else would,” the 12-year-old told Chengdu Economic Daily.
Xu does not only carry Zhang to school — he also helps him get around.
The kind-hearted boy helps his best friend fetch lunch, hand in homework, move between classes, climb stairs and go to the toilet.
While their days are not always easy, Xu remains committed to helping his best friend.
“I weigh more than 40 kilograms (88 pounds) and Zhang only weighs about 25 kilograms (55 pounds), so I have no problem carrying him,” he told Sichuan Online.
In their first three years of primary school, another classmate helped Zhang move around, but that boy quit after realizing that he can no longer play in his spare time.
Xu, on the other hand, persisted.
“For a child, nothing is more tempting than playing. But Xu Binyang has sticked to being Zhang Ze’s ‘crutch’ from first grade all the way to the sixth grade,” said one teacher who described him as humble, hardworking and very mature.
Interestingly, even Xu’s mother had no idea of his son’s kindness until news spread out from other students.
Xu’s unceasing kindness has touched countless hearts on Chinese social media, with many wishing that they had the same friend.
Weibo users commented:
“Ah, this kid is so good!”
“A child’s goodwill is the best.”
“This is a friend you’ll have for a lifetime.”
“When we grow up, we’re no longer friends, but resources to each other.”
“What kind of family educates such a good child? Good boy, I hope society will not harm you when you grow up.”