A small town in Montana has decided to hold its high school graduation ceremony early this year so that the class valedictorian’s mother can watch as her daughter graduate.
The mother is fighting end stage pancreatic cancer and has been told she would not live to see the May 20th ceremony. You are going to melt when you read what the town is doing for this very special family.
The Billings Gazette has reported that two residents of Terry, Montana have helped a family struggling with cancer in a very special way.
Carol Grant, a much-loved bartender at the local American Legion Hall in Terry, Montana was diagnosed with end stage pancreatic cancer in January, and just two weeks ago was told she probably would not live long enough to see her daughter graduate from high school at the end of May.
Her daughter, Kelsey, has worked very hard during her high school years and has earned the rank of class valedictorian at Terry High School.
Now, two of the Grant’s neighbors, Michelle Wolff and May Elizabeth Grue, have organized a very special graduation ceremony to be held at Prairie Community Hospital, so that Carol can watch Kelsey graduate.
The early ceremony took place on April 26, and was supported by area businesses that donated flowers, a cake, and even a banner. Even local school board administrators were on hand for the event.
The entire affair was a surprise for Carol Grant, who could not be more excited.
Her husband, Terry, said “She clapped and was extremely excited,” Terry Grant said. “It was nice of them to do something like that.”
After graduation, Kelsey plans on enrolling at Montana State University in Billings, where she hopes to become a pediatrician.
This heartwarming story has moved many readers to share their thoughts and prayers via social media, with some people saying:
“Prayers for this Family. What a great thing to happen!”- Anna Lee Pemberton
“Montana!!! Communities pulling together…That’s the Montana way!”- Sheila Gilman Lohr
“This is why I love Montana, it is full of communities like this.”- Eileen Marks
Pancreatic cancer can be difficult to diagnose early, as symptoms usually do not manifest until later in its development, after it has spread to other areas of the body. People with a history of cancer in their families should be keenly aware of a combination of such symptoms as yellowing skin, light colored stool or dark urine, unexplained weight loss and loss of appetite and abdominal or back pain.
Risk factors for pancreatic cancer include smoking, obesity and diabetes, and in rare cases, genetic conditions. It rarely occurs in people under the age of forty, with most cases being diagnosed in people over seventy years of age. It is the fourth most common cancer in the United States, and unless it is caught early enough has a very high mortality rate.
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