(RNN) – A high school senior in Virginia got to graduate a little early this year, because she wanted to make sure her mother got to see her receive her diploma.
Molly Sullivan’s mother, Karen Sullivan, has battled cancer for six years. The family, medical team and Kettle Run High School officials made a plan that would let Karen see Molly graduate.
“We knew she wasn’t going to make it to see Molly’s actual graduation,” Molly’s older sister, Kelsey, told the Fauquier Times.
ICU nurses and the school arranged for an early graduation for Molly in her mom’s hospital room. Molly wore her cap and gown, hospital workers brought in balloons, decorations and a cake, and Kettle Run Principal Major Warner joined other school officials in handing Molly her diploma as her mother looked on.
“We went up and just really tried to honor Molly in front of her mom. We had no script for it. There’s no manual for this, obviously,” Warner told the paper.
He said at the beginning, there was sadness in the room, but what followed was “about half an hour to 45 minutes of laughter and storytelling.”
“They were able to get some memories and some photos, and in the end that’s what we have,” Warner said.
Just hours after the graduation ceremony, Karen Sullivan died.
Kelsey Sullivan credits the school for making this final memory for her sister and her mom.
“It’s because of Kettle Run that Molly is graduating,” said Kelsey, who along with third sister Ashley, is also an alum of the school.. “It’s an amazing school, and our entire family is very grateful to them for doing this.”
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