WELLESLEY HILLS, Mass. — Ross Wagner was diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy when he was 13-months old. At the time, he was one of the youngest kids diagnosed at Children’s Hospital in Boston with this disease. At nine-years old, he was using his first wheelchair, but he never let his disease slow him down physically or mentally. He graduated Concord Carlisle High School in 2006 and began classes at MassBay Community College in fall 2007.
“MassBay gave him the opportunity and the support system to take courses to further his education,” said Leslie Wagner, Ross’s mother. “He attended MassBay for 10 years and took classes in many different disciplines that interested him. From criminal justice, to psychology, to communications, and business, he just wanted to learn and see where his interests took him. MassBay really opened doors for him and allowed him to earn his certificate in communications. His physical limitations never deterred him from learning.”
Ross enjoyed expressing himself creatively through drawing and writing. He published an online food blog called “Guy of Food,” writing restaurant reviews and sharing recipes with his followers. “He had a big spirit and people were drawn to him. Ross had a very positive outlook on life, teaching many of us how to be and stay positive. He really brought smiles to everyone around him.” A week or so after Ross passed away his family received an American flag that was flown over the United State Capitol in honor of Ross. A plaque accompanied the flag, stating, ‘His positive, caring and brave approach to life not only made those around him proud, but filled them with joy. He was truly an inspiration’.
Ross passed away in July 2018 and is survived by his parents, Frederick and Leslie, his sister Erin, uncles, aunts, cousins and many friends. He will be honored at the College’s 57th commencement with the President’s Award and an associate degree in general studies, which his mother will accept on his behalf.