"Why him? I don't know truly why. But we're lucky. We're very, very lucky," said Joe Gallagher, of his son, Brendan Gallagher, who has made a huge impact at MacArthur High School.
Brendan, 21, has autism. He recently graduated from the school in Levittown, New York, where he formed a special bond with his classmates, teachers and community. He became so beloved by the football and lacrosse teams that he was a mainstay at almost every game.
"He kept saying 'I go to football,' I'm like you know what I'm gonna bring him to a game," his father, Joe, told Newsday. As Brendan's father brought him to the game, students walked up to him and said "Hi," gave him high-fives — they "got a lot" out of Brendan.
"They just opened up their world to him. When they won, he was in middle of the huddles with them. When they lost, he had like little tears in his eyes, he was upset, because he knew they were hurt," Joe said.
Watch the full video above and read more at Newsday.