WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WECT) - Hundreds of autistic children took the ride of a lifetime Thursday at Wrightsville Beach.
Despite the rain, the Surfers Healing event brought a wave of smiles from the kids, their families, and the experts who helped make it happen.
Volunteer surfers traveled from Hawaii to teach the children how to catch a wave. The professionals rode along with their new friends as a way to share their skills and enrich a child's life.
"It brings me to tears sometimes, it's really emotional," said Garrett McNamara.
Some of the autistic children who went out Thursday said the experience has taught them they can accomplish anything.
"Actually riding a wave and I could actually stand up for quite a bit," said Noah Casey. "The last time I did it I never actually fell off."
The surfers said they love helping the kids reach new heights and add confidence to their lives.
"It just makes me feel really warm and good inside and just to see the parents happy and the kids express emotions they normally don't express," said McNamara.