Ben Moser and Mary Lapkowicz, 17, became friends in fourth grade.“A lot of grade-school aged kids may have stayed away from my sister Mary or thought she was weird because she has Downs [sic] Syndrome. But not Ben,” Mary’s brother, Tom Lapokwicz, wrote on Facebook.
Despite the odds being stacked against them and their story is beautiful.
“He watched over her constantly,” their fourth grade teacher, Tracey Spogli, told The Patriot-News. “If she was looking like she wasn’t having fun, he would go over and talk to her. He would pull her in to whatever activity they were doing. He just always watched out for her.”
“I thought Mary was really cool,” Ben recalls. “She was sweet and easy to get along with.” So at the end of fourth grade, when he attended his cousin’s prom walk, he told his mom that when he was old enough, he was going to ask Mary to prom.
But, in sixth grade Mary moved to the Central Dauphin school district, where her father, Tom Lapkowicz, works as a math teacher. By the time Mary reached high school, she was assisting her father’s work with the high school football team as equipment manager.
Meanwhile, Ben had also gone into football at Susquehanna, playing as quarterback.
Last year, the two reunited when their schools played each other in football, which reminded Ben of his fourth grade promise.
With several balloons that featured “prom” written on them, Ben presented his friend with the gift and asked her to be his date. She absolutely said yes!
“I was surprised,” Mary admitted, smiling “I was going to go with some friends.”
Of course,Mary was absolutely ecstatic that Ben was going to be her date, and the youngster looked absolutely stunning in a beautiful embellished lavender gown and her friend equally handsome in a matching tux.This also means that the quarterback has managed to overlook their schools’ rivalry. “I don’t think it should be too weird,” he joked. “There [are] good kids there.” Their fourth grade teacher even came to see them off.
Ben gave the inspiring statement, “There shouldn’t be a barrier between somebody who doesn’t have Down syndrome or not. You should just be who you are and do what’s right. Simple.” to explain why he asked Mary to be his date.
Mary’s brother wrote that Ben has “put a smile on Mary’s face & restored my faith in humanity.”
We hope they had an amazing night!