Family, friends surprise former St. Jude patient with drive-by graduation celebration

Family, friends surprise former St. Jude patient with drive-by graduation celebration

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A former St Jude patient received an amazing surprise Saturday.

Our cameras were there as a cancer survivor, kept from a graduation because of the coronavirus, was celebrated by her friends and family.

Madison had dreamed of her college graduation day as long as she could remember.

Although it might not have been a traditional ceremony, it meant the world to her.

"I can usually semi catch on to surprises but this time I genuinely had no idea,” said Madison.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing requirements, Madison's graduation like many others was cancelled.

Saturday, a caravan of her friends and friendly honked and cheered to celebrate her big day.

"This is the most overwhelmed I’ve been since my ‘No More Chemo Party’ where they tried to shove like 40 people into a med room,” said Madison.

The day was extra special, because three and a half years ago Madison was battling cancer at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

"This was like my number one goal when I finished treatment was to graduate college,” said Madison.

Madison says she's thankful for her support system, especially her parents.

"To be standing here three and a half years later and knowing that she graduated college and she’s three years in remission, what more could I want,” said Todd, Madison’s dad.

Madison is graduating with a degree in art and graphic design.

She says art was an escape for her during the most difficult times in her life, and she hopes to be able to use her passion to help other kids in similar situations.

"It's really fun to just watch the little kids just be kids for a minute so that's what I want to go back and do is work with the kids on art,” said Madison.

Though she didn't get to walk across the stage with her classmates, Madison says perspective is everything and she's just grateful to be here.

“I’m still graduating, I’m still healthy, I still get to celebrate with my family and you know, I’m here.”

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