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School Brings Graduation to the Hospital to Fulfil Last Wish of a Student's Terminally Ill Mother

Lois Oladejo
Nov 07, 2021
10:20 A.M.

A high school student got to fulfill her mom's dying wish to see her graduate by pulling some strings moments before her passing. The pleasant parting gift has moved many to tears on the internet.

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June 21, 2018, was a day Cassidy De Leon and the entire graduating set at Washingtonville High School looked forward to throughout their senior year. To them, it marked the end of a four-year journey and the onset of their new chapter.

However, Cassidy knew there was one more stop she needed to scale through before saying goodbye to high school: Her mom's death.

School brings graduation of a student whose mother is terminally ill to the hospital. | Photo: facebook.com/michael.a.pagan.3

School brings graduation of a student whose mother is terminally ill to the hospital. | Photo: facebook.com/michael.a.pagan.3

Cassidy's mom, Elizabeth De Leon, spent the last three years of her life battling colon cancer. Even in her ill state, she remained the one person who looked forward to graduation day more than the students at Washingtonville.

Throughout her grueling battle, the 51-year-old only wished to stay alive long enough to see her daughter graduate from high school. As her condition worsened, it became evident the woman may not make it to the D-day.

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Determined not to let his mom's dying wish slip away unfulfilled, Elizabeth's oldest child Richard Pagan contacted the school with an unusual request. He wanted Washingtonville high to hold a special graduation ceremony for Cassidy ahead of the scheduled date in his mom's honor.

The school's principal, Brian Connolly, subscribed to the idea, eager to fulfill Elizabeth's dying wish. He successfully retrieved Cassidy's Diploma, a cap, and a gown from the school over the weekend and delivered them to the hospital.

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The entire Washingtonville community and students of the high school also turned up at the hospital to make the early graduation a success.

A video shared on Facebook showed the moment the graduating student made her walk of accomplishment towards her mom, surrounded by family, fellow students, and community members.

A user's comment on mother who saw the graduation of her daughter in her hospital bed. | Photo: facebook.com/michael.a.pagan.3

A user's comment on mother who saw the graduation of her daughter in her hospital bed. | Photo: facebook.com/michael.a.pagan.3

Elizabeth, who had been catatonic for days, suddenly lit up, with a smile spread across her face as she watched her daughter walk towards her in a cap and gown.

She stayed alert throughout the ceremony held on May 28, 2018, which was Memorial Day. Seeing the happiness radiating through her mom, Cassidy knew she could finally find peace within herself. Pagan recalled:

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"She was happy, and me and Cassidy told her 'mom, it's okay. You can go now.'"

A user's comment on mother who saw the graduation of her daughter in her hospital bed. | Photo: facebook.com/michael.a.pagan.3

A user's comment on mother who saw the graduation of her daughter in her hospital bed. | Photo: facebook.com/michael.a.pagan.3

The family matriarch passed away shortly after the special graduation ceremony, leaving her family glad they got to fulfill her wish just in time.

The heart-melting moment moved thousands of people to tears, garnering emotional reactions from netizens. One commenter wrote:

"Wow. So wonderful and sad at the same time. Congrats to the new grad. God be with that family."

A user's comment on mother who saw the graduation of her daughter in her hospital bed. | Photo: facebook.com/michael.a.pagan.3

A user's comment on mother who saw the graduation of her daughter in her hospital bed. | Photo: facebook.com/michael.a.pagan.3

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Others utilized the platform to console the family for their loss while expressing how glad they were Elizabeth got to witness the beautiful moment. A comment read:

"Cassidy, this is so incredibly beautiful. There aren't enough words on this earth to describe how proud your mom is of you! Hold onto all your beautiful memories and carry your mom's spirit with you."

A user's comment on mother who saw the graduation of her daughter in her hospital bed. | Photo: facebook.com/michael.a.pagan.3

A user's comment on mother who saw the graduation of her daughter in her hospital bed. | Photo: facebook.com/michael.a.pagan.3

Twenty-four days after giving her mom the beautiful parting gift, Cassidy De Leon officially graduated high school along with the remaining class of 2018.

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