Published Online: June 7, 2016
Published in Print: June 8, 2016, as Cancer Survivor Not Allowed To Walk With Senior Class

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Cancer Survivor Not Allowed to Walk With Senior Class

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A suburban Phoenix high school student who kept up with classes through cancer treatments but was denied permission to walk at graduation has received support from around the world after a Facebook post about his situation.

Stephen Dwyer, 18, withdrew from Dobson High School in Mesa during his junior year to receive a life-saving bone-marrow transplant for leukemia. He took online courses until he was able to return last fall. He took on an extra early-morning class, rejoined the swim team, and was elected student-body president. He is 2½ credits short of graduating.

A district spokeswoman lauded Dwyer for being courageous, but cited district policy for excluding him from the ceremony. He was offered the chance to sit on the stage—but not in a cap and gown—and give a speech as a student leader. He turned that down, saying that would have made him feel more isolated from the other seniors.

Vol. 35, Issue 34, Page 5

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