IMPACT

Connor Olson's Story: Kansas High School Holds Special Graduation For Cancer Patient

06/16/2010 05:12 am 05:12:01 | Updated May 25, 2011

When Kansas high school student Connor Olson was diagnosed with bone cancer over a year ago, the news came at a difficult time for his school. A fellow student had recently died of a heart condition, another student was in a coma and yet another was in need of a kidney transplant. Tonganoxie High School students rallied together to support their classmates by creating Team Tongie, an organization they used to collect donations to support the families of the hospitalized students.

Now, a year later, Connor Olson's condition has worsened, after suffering a debilitating stroke that left one side of his body paralyzed and made it very difficult for him to speak.

The Kansas City Star reports Tonganoxie High School is supporting Olson once again, this time by honoring him with a special graduation ceremony.

"Connor was dealt an incredibly poor hand, but Connor was dealt four aces when it comes to his attitude toward life and his respect for others," said the high school's principal, Jamie Carlisle.

Over 500 teachers, students and family members packed into the school's auditorium Wednesday to celebrate Olson's achievement. His closest friends carried his wheelchair onto the stage, where the school choir sung and the class president made a speech in Olson's honor. During the ceremony, Olson was able to give a thumbs up, indicating he was ready to be wheeled across the stage to receive his diploma.

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