Fifteen-year-old Vittorio Ricci is walking tall and walking proud, but that wasn’t always the case.

“All throughout middle school, I was walking like a clown, I was slapping my feet around, and it was loud. I just thought it was something that was wrong with me,” said Vittorio Ricci.

The sophomore at Masconomet Regional High School was diagnosed with a rare nerve disorder called Charcot Marie Tooth, or CMT.

The disorder affects nerves, mostly in hands and feet; it’s progressive, but not life threatening.

“I would always be slower, I’d always be behind. I’d have to jog to catch up,” said Vittorio.

Soon Vittorio was fitted with leg braces, and hasn’t looked back since.

“I run cross country in fall, right now trying out for the swim team, in the spring, probably gonna do spring track again,” he said.

In the last year alone, Vittorio has raised about $40,000 for CMT research.

His friends say he’s an inspiration.

“He’s one of the nicest kids you would ever meet, and to see him get this is just like ‘why him? Why did he get it?’ But he’s turned it into something that teaches us all,” said Daniel Cosgrove, sophomore class president.

And Vittorio says, whatever you do, don’t feel sorry for him.

“I don’t want people to look at me with sympathy or pity, I can do things just as well as anyone else, I just have to do them differently,” he said.

Vittorio fundraises for the Charcot Marie Tooth Association. You can check it out at cmtausa.organd look for Vittorio’s page.

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