COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Dressed in a cap and gown in front of one hundred classmates and family members, Kyler Kessler experienced a graduation ceremony.
Because he hasn’t technically completed all the classes he needs to graduate, instead of a diploma, he received a special certificate.
For Kyler, a junior at Whitehall Yearling High School, the road to get here was fraught with medical procedures and rounds of treatment.
Kyler was diagnosed with neuroblastoma at the age of five. His dying wish was to experience what it felt like to graduate.
“He is really strong willed and strong in faith,” said Kyler’s grandfather Bruce Salaers. “He believes that there is a purpose in his disease.”
His family says no matter the prognosis, Kyler has always remained positive.
“He illustrated to me if he does not survive the cancer then that is God’s will. But he is going to fight,” said Salaers.
Classmates say Kyler has always been the shining light of their class. But this year he had to be homeschooled because of his condition.
Despite being in remission three times, doctors say his prognosis has moved to stage four.
“He is such a giving student that we wanted to show our support as a district for everybody that has cared about him over the years,” said Kyler’s teacher, Pamala Glass.
Kyler’s graduating class of 2019 raised more than $2,500 in t-shirt donations to help with his medical experience.
Kyler shared this simple message with his classmates:
“Don’t waste to much time being mad at the ones you love. Keep them in line and cherish them. For they may not be around for long. And I love all of you.”