Texas Teen With Terminal Cancer Celebrates High School Graduation in Early Ceremony

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A Texas high school senior is just months away from her graduation, but because her cancer battle might prevent her from feeling strong on the big day, she and her family celebrated the milestone in an early ceremony

Crystal “Iris” Marquez, a 17-year-old student at Taylor High School in Alief, walked across the stage and accepted her diploma last Friday, months ahead of her school’s actual graduation date.

“Class of 2019, I have been chosen. Farewell my friends, I’ve gone to a better place,” Marquez said in an emotional speech addressing her classmates.

Marquez was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma in her shoulder in April 2015. She underwent chemotherapy for a year and was told she was cancer-free, but the disease returned six months later and doctors told her it had spread.

She has chosen not to continue with treatment and to enjoy going to school, going to prom and graduating instead.

“Though her prognosis is not good, she is praying for a miracle,” a school official said in a speech at her graduation. “Iris is a strong young lady, and she continues to attend school every day. Her wish is to graduate from high school and have prom. She’s sharing her wish with you today.”


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