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Pasco High Holds Graduation Ceremony For Terminally Ill Student In Hospice Care

The Tampa Tribune

Like most high school students, Vanessa Jasmin Garcia has always looked forward to walking down the aisle to receive a high school diploma. Unfortuantley, Vanessa was diagnosed with a brain tumor in elementary school and she has had to overcome so many obstacles while trying to graduate from high school.

Recently, friends and teachers from Pasco High School came together at the Gulfside Center for Hospice Care at Bayfront Health Dade City to celebrate with the 17-year-old senior as she was awarded an honorary high school diploma.

Vanessa’s cancer went into remission for a bit, but it soon returned. Still, her condition never hindered her mission to graduate. She never complained and teachers say that she never used her condition as an excuse.

As the Tampa Tribune reports, her principal Principal Kari Kadlub says, “You are truly an inspiration.” As Vanessa’s condition worsened, the school knew that she may not make it to the end of the month, when graduation is scheduled, so they held a ceremony for Vanessa at Hospice and honored her with an honorary diploma.

The ceremony was held in a large room, just down the hall from Vanessa’s room, where several of her friends, teachers, and other school officials gathered. Someone put up a sign in the room that read: “Congrats, girl!!! You’re a very strong and beautiful individual” and “We are all so proud of you.

Everyone in attendance held back tears as Vanessa’s principal awarded her with the honorary high school diploma, and although she could not verbally communicate with all in attendance, she gave them all a thumbs up to let them know she knew what was going on.

What an amazing story, and more so, what an amazing young girl. We can all learn from Vanessa’s story. If you want something bad enough, you can achieve it. This young girl may not be able to defeat the cancer inside of her, but she sure did not allow it to defeat what she wanted most, and that was to one day wear the colors of Pasco High in the form of a cap and gown.

Source For Story & Photo: The Tampa Tribune



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