Lynzee Ford wanted to graduate. Despite being diagnosed with a nontreatable form of leukemia in January, the 17-year old senior softball player at Kilgore High (Texas) had graduating from high school on top of her "to do" list."
Even though Ford's class wouldn't graduate officially for more than six months, her mother, teammates and the faculty at Kilgore made her dream come true and held a special ceremony Oct. 20. Ford got to wear her red cap and gown, take the stage and receive her diploma to a standing ovation.
"Lynzee is a very special young lady here at Kilgore High School and is loved by us all, and she wanted to graduate from here, and we wanted to make sure that happened." KHS Principal Gregg Brown said during the graduation.
Believing Ford still had a few months of life yet, the students at Kilgore had set in motion to have a special prom in November for Ford. Unfortunately, Ford lost her nine-month battle with the cancer and died just days after graduating. She passed away Thursday night in Tyler.
"The kids, they loved her and she loved them," Alice Hunt, a relative of Ford, told KLTV. "She was the epitome of courage, strength; she loved life. God this hurts! This is killing me, but I know she's in a better place."
According to Yahoo.com, during the graduation speeches, Ford's teacher and assistant softball coach, Kathy Mehringer, shared a special memory of a talk they had following practice: "That day, you became the teacher and I became the student, and you showed me what it's like to have family and to have dreams. And this is your day, this is an awesome day: your graduation day. I love you."
A special web page had been set up to help Ford's family with medical expenses. As of Monday, it has raised $4,449 of the $7,500 goal that had been set.