Mom Attends Graduation Ceremony That Couldn't Wait

High school holds early graduation for senior with ill mother

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    Shakyra Martinez has already been accepted to Baylor University. She plans to be a nurse to help people like her mother.

    North Crowley High School senior Shakyra Martinez won't graduate with her class until June 2, but the Fort Worth school held a special graduation ceremony just for her on Friday.

    It was to make sure her mother could see it.

    The Graduation That Couldn't Wait

    [DFW] The Graduation That Couldn't Wait
    A mother in the final stages of cervical cancer was able to watch her daughter graduate two months before the official ceremony. (Published Friday, April 9, 2010)

    "I'm really proud,” Sharae Horton said of her daughter.

    Horton, 33, was diagnosed with cervical cancer three years ago.

    Doctors tell her the disease is now in its final stages.

    "Right now, they're -- it's just any day now,” Horton said.

    She said she’s not ready to give up and still plans on seeing Shakyra graduate with her class this summer.

    "I'm still a fighter,” Horton said. “I feel like every morning I am going to get up, it will be a new day."

    Shakyra said she had to convince her mother to attend the early graduation.

    "A couple days ago, she didn't want to do it,” she said. “She actually got upset… because she feels like she wants to make it until June. But I asked her, 'I just want to make sure, Ma,' and she agreed to it."

    "I don't know if I'll be here to see her actual graduation,” Horton said. “So I wanted to do it early in the event something does happen."

    At home after the ceremony, Shakyra's mother looked back at pictures of her own graduation -- when she was already a young mother. She gave birth to Shakyra at age 15.

    She said seeing her daughter graduate was something special.

    "Just joy,” she said. “Just like seeing a baby again."

    At the ceremony, Pomp and Circumstance played as Shakyra walked across the stage and received her diploma.

    Her teachers gave her hugs.

    "Hang in there, baby,” one teacher said.

    "We're going to do this all again in June, and she is going to be right there. So just keep thinking that, OK?" another teacher said.

    Shakyra said she has already been accepted to Baylor University. She plans to be a nurse to help people like her mother.