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FORDLAND, Mo. (AP) — A 6-year-old taekwondo student in south-central Missouri is fighting for an injured teammate he’s never met.

The Springfield News-Leader reports that Lucas “The Tiger” Glover outranks most of his classmates at G+G Martial Arts in Fordland. He leads the gym in prayer, and makes sure to include one for 16-year-old Julia Shipp.

Shipp broke her hips, spine, ribs and pelvis and suffered a traumatic brain injury Oct. 13 when she was hit by an allegedly drunken driver, the Springfield News-Leader reported.

“He has a heart at 6 years old that, in most kids, I’ve never seen,” said Lacey Glover, Lucas’ mother. “He’s never even met her, but every time he goes out, he remembers to fight for her and give her strength as much as possible.”

Shipp was able to return to her home in Elizabeth, Kentucky in late November and currently uses a wheelchair to get around.

Lucas and Shipp belong to Team Heartland, a national all-ages team of taekwondo fighters. Though Lucas doesn’t personally know Julia, he’s fighting for her in his training to soon become a black belt.

“I want her to get better,” Lucas said.

Julia said she’s watched videos of Lucas on his Facebook page. She said she’s a fan of his Mohawk and finds it amazing how he can care so much about a stranger.

She said she would give him a big hug if she ever met him.

“He’s so strong and I’m so proud of him because he’s supporting me, and I just think he’s going to be a really good kid when he grows up,” Julia said. “It just makes my heart warm.”


Information from: Springfield News-Leader,