A Maryland State Police trooper candidate who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy as a child will walk across the stage at his police academy Friday.

Derek Harper will become a third-generation state trooper as his father Sgt. David Harper will be waiting for him at the end of the stage to pin a gold badge on his uniform. His father is a 28-year veteran of the state police.

At the age of three, Derek was diagnosed with cerebral palsy that affected his legs.

Initially, he had many doctors visits and therapy at Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore. He got shots in his legs and wore braces to help him balance. In 2007, Derek had major surgery on his legs and wore casts for six weeks.

When Derek graduated from high school in 2016, he passed the physical fitness test and was hired by the Maryland State Police as a cadet.

He was assigned to the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division New Market scale house and passed every physical test cadets received, reports WJZ.

In Sept. 2018, Derek joined his police academy class.