A Washington teen battling cancer was hospitalized on the day of his graduation, so staff brought the celebration to him.
Michael Albrecht, a graduating senior at North Creek High School, watched from his hospital bed as his sister received his diploma on his behalf.
“It’s still sweet to have her walk for me, I loved watching her do that,” 18-year-old Albrecht said, according to Seattle Children’s Hospital.
Albrecht, who was also named a 2019 Presidential Scholar, has been battling Ewing’s sarcoma since the eighth grade.
“I’ve been here for as long as I’ve been in high school,” he joked of the hospital. “It’s like my second high school.”
He has been in remission for several years, until doctors discovered recently that the cancer came back and moved to his lungs.
“Unfortunately what was going to be a lovely graduation year and a lot of celebratory events and hanging out with my friends and just getting through the last bit of school ended up with me getting chemotherapy treatment here in the hospital,” Albrecht said. “I felt alone, … coming back here felt like a step in the backward direction.”
As his graduation date crept closer and closer, hospital staff worked with his principal to find a way to livestream school events and senior ceremonies to the hospital.
“Being able to feel like I'm at the school during these times of graduation and other events that they host has really made it special for me,” he said. “I’m not leaving my life behind just because I’m in the hospital.”
Albrecht said he has kept his head up through treatment and plans to be better later this summer.
“Soon the day will come when I’ll be out of here and out playing in the July sun,” he said.