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Photo of GRCHS alumni and GRCS employee Dave Worst after he finished the marathon
Lauren Fay Carlson

Dave Worst ‘00 is a favorite throughout Grand Rapids Christian Schools. An alumnus living with cerebral palsy who works at his alma mater Rockford Christian and also at Grand Rapids Christian Middle School part-time, Dave’s perseverance and positive attitude are a consistent source of strength for the community.

Most recently, Dave had the opportunity to participate in a half marathon with two of his lifelong friends and GRCS alumni, brothers Chuck ‘01 and Randy Commeret, Jr. ‘94. "Dave is just one of those guys … it has been an uphill battle in a lot of ways," says Chuck, who formed a friendship with Dave as a teenager. "When people know Mr. Dave at Rockford and at the middle school, they don't see his disability, they see his ability and how God is using him every day," he adds.

Partnering with Randy, an avid runner, and Aaron Velting, also a runner whose husband Ryan Velting drives Dave to work at RCS throughout the week, the group decided to tackle the Foster Swift Half Marathon. Working with myTEAM TRIUMPH, an athletic ride-along program that enables those with disabilities to participate in events such as triathlons and road races by providing medical, fundraising, and logistical support, the Commeret brothers, Aaron, and Dave trained and completed the 13 miles on a cold Sunday in October. 

Photo of GRCHS alumni and GRCS employee Dave Worst after he finished the marathon

"It was just a really, really cool day," says Randy, who served as one of team captain Dave’s “angels” throughout the race. After the angels pushed Dave the majority of the 13 miles, he was able to walk the final 20 to 30 yards on his own. "It was just one of those moments that was super emotional … it was really really cool to be part of that experience," says Randy.

Dave himself, ecstatic with the experience, said that his favorite parts were, “Being outside with good people and walking across the finish line."

"For me, he is just such an inspiration and just challenges me to live each day to its fullest and to realize that we can have a positive impact on those around us," says Chuck.  

"That just tells a lot about who Dave is …. his ability to persevere … that was definitely a powerful moment to be a part of and to watch."


Photos courtesey of Dave Worst, Dena Willis & Ryan Velting