MEDFIELD(CBS) – Hundreds of sixth, seventh, and eighth-grade students ran a two-mile race at Blake Middle School in Medfield on Friday to celebrate raising enough money to buy a customized prosthetic leg for a young Beverly girl.
Swapna Oslund, the recipient of the prosthetic, was born with a leg deformity.
She underwent 18 surgeries in the first nine years of her life. As she grew older, it became more evident Oslund needed a customized leg.
"I can move better and run faster. I feel really, really glad that I can get this leg," said Oslund.
Students told WBZ-TV that a summer reading book brought their inspiration to give back.
That inspiration led them to Boston Marathon bombing survivor Heather Abbott. Abbott lost her leg and now runs her own prosthetics limb donor foundation. Abbott connected them with Oslund.
"It's nice to be able to help them because I understand why they need exactly what they need," said Abbott.
The book, called 'The Running Dream,' is about a teenager who lost her leg in a car accident. Her school raised money to buy her a new leg.
Blake Middle School students adopted that same idea.
"We worked really hard doing a lot of fundraisers," said John Shelley, a seventh grader.
Students raised more than $10,000 to buy Oslund the prosthetic leg. Oslund said she is grateful.
"I would actually sleep with this. I never want to take it off at all," said Oslund.
Oslund's mother, Maren Oslund, was also gracious.
"It's really emotionally overwhelming," she said. "It's amazing to celebrate where she's at right and to say thank you to Blake Middle School for all their hard work and helping her be as mobile as she can be."
Students took extra pride in crossing the finish line during their race on Thursday.
"I'm not just doing it to be like athletic, I'm just doing it for a good cause," explained Shelley.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Karen Twomey reports
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