Dominique Cooks, a high school senior with an inoperable brain tumor, may not live long enough to reach future milestones. But he was able to attend his high school graduation, thanks to administrators at Decatur High School in Federal Way, Wash.
Administrators at Decatur staged an early high school graduation Thursday evening, so that Cooks could experience getting his diploma, according to KOMO-TV. The graduation was complete with a jazz choir, a large crowd and a surprise guest appearance from Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin.
Cooks was diagnosed with brain cancer two years ago, but the cancer has recently progressed and doctors say he may not have much time left. However, teachers and classmates say that this has not brought the teen down, and he continues to exude positivity despite his illness, according to the outlet.
"It's sort of uncharted territory," Decatur High School Principal David Brower told KOMO of the staged ceremony. "I've never done this for a student, but I can think of no better students than them to do this for."
In between tears, teachers spoke about Cooks and his interminable spirit.
“The fact that you are ill might be about the least important and the least interesting thing that there is to know about you,” teacher Genie Stovick said, according to KIRO-TV.
NFL star Doug Baldwin spoke about when he met Cooks earlier this year.
“I was blessed with the opportunity to meet this wonderful man. And the first thing he said to me was, ‘Aww, you’re not so big,’” he said, according to the outlet.
Prior to the ceremony, Cooks told KING 5 News that he's determined to beat his illness.
"When I found out I had cancer, I was like, cancer killed my best friend and my great grandmother. So I always knew I was gonna beat it for them," he said.