I would always remember my son, Delon’s graduation. He attended Central High School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and was class of 2007.
The Kimmel Center came alive on that June morning; packed to its capacity, the scent of success permeating the atmosphere. Then it was time to receive diplomas. Names were called and student after student walked to the podium, collecting their diplomas amidst screams, whistling and applauds. But then, at the call of one name, a hush fell over the student audience. The graduates rose to their feet in a standing ovation. Parents and guests strained forward, trying to see what was happening. Then slowly, but surely, a young lady appeared, taking feeble yet deliberate steps forward. You could hear a pin if it had dropped in that auditorium. Eventually, she made it to the podium and collected her diploma. Celebration erupted among her fellow graduates . . . cheers, screams, high fives . . .
Her story was told . . . She was diagnosed with cancer and was hospitalized for most of her senior year, but she was determined to graduate and to walk for her graduation. She couldn’t do it alone. Students, teachers, possibly family members and friends helped her by ensuring she received and completed her assignments while lying in her hospital bed. Although terminally ill, this student did not give up. She knew what she wanted and she persevered. On graduation day, defying all odds, she walked across the stage and received the diploma she worked so hard to achieve. That was the Diploma Trumps Disease moment!
Is there a mountain you have to climb to ensure that you are a part of your graduating class? You can do it! Keep pressing on! Don’t give up. Persevere to the end and defy odds like that Central High School student!