ST. LOUIS, MO. (KTVI) – A Saint Louis University High School student who's been dealt a very tough break is sending out a very 'gutsy' request: he`s asking singing star Carly Rae Jepsen to a school dance via a YouTube music video.
Josh Ritter, a SLUH junior, is on the track team. Fourteen months ago, in the middle of his sophomore year, he found out he had a tumor on his spine. Things have changed drastically, but the "real" Josh never has.
The junior shot-puter has had more hurdles to clear than the actual hurdlers on his team; including surgery to remove a tumor from his spine.
"After my surgery, I was able to play a sport again. So I decided this is really the only one I could compete in," Ritter said.
No tumor, no wheelchair, will keep him from just being a high school kid; playing sports - taking a girl to the dance.
"You can`t really let anything stop you or else you won`t really have that good a time in high school," he said.
He`s been having a ball directing a video invitation to the SLUH Junior Ring Dance in May, to pop star Carly Rae Jepsen. The video features him wheeling around in his wheelchair, lip-syncing to her song "Call Me Maybe", which has been an inspiration to Josh during physical therapy at Ranken Jordan Hospital and St. Louis Children's Hospital.
The way he sees it, how can she say no.
"I'm incredibly handsome. That's obvious and just all around a great guy," he laughed. "I like to think that we have a connection even though she doesn't know I exist right now."
Walking the SLUH steps in the video with his cane, he's a bit of a "show-off" maybe, but girls dig that, right?
"I think for Josh nothing is a long shot. There is no plan B in Josh Ritter`s world. It`s all plan A," said his therapist at Ranken Jordan, Melissa Rentfrow.
"She might not "Call Him Maybe", but Josh has the kind of attitude. He's going to make the best of everything," laughed Lauri Tanner, Ranken Jordan CEO.
She appeared in the video shaking pompons.
"She won`t be disappointed. Plus, we're SLUH guys so it`s always a good time," Josh said.
Surgery to remove Josh's tumor has relieved his pain, restored some of his feeling, and allowed him to start walking again. But his fight is not finished. He has a rough road of therapy ahead. Hospital staffers are trying to help make sure Jepsen at least sees the video and gives him an answer.
To see the full video, click here.