Advertisement

Archive for Friday, April 16, 2010

Tonganoxie student in a class by himself

Special graduation ceremony conducted for teen with cancer

A special graduation ceremony was conducted Thursday at Tonganoxie High School for senior Connor Olson. Olson, who is battling cancer, suffered a stroke earlier this week.

A special graduation ceremony was conducted Thursday at Tonganoxie High School for senior Connor Olson. Olson, who is battling cancer, suffered a stroke earlier this week.

April 16, 2010

Advertisement

With a “thumbs up” sign, Tonganoxie High School senior Connor Olson let THS Principal Jamie Carlisle know he was ready to receive his high school diploma.

Even though THS commencement exercises are scheduled for May 15, Olson received his diploma a month early, during a special ceremony Thursday.

Tonganoxie senior earns special graduation ceremony

Senior Connor Olson is fighting bone cancer and had a stroke Sunday, but that doesn't mean that he didn't get to graduate like every other senior. Enlarge video

Olson has been battling bone cancer for about a year. It started in his right leg. His right leg and foot were removed because of the cancer. Then the cancer attacked his lungs and a hip. On Sunday, Olson suffered a stroke, according to THS athletic director Brandon Parker.

Read more about how Olson inspired the KU football team.

But Thursday, wearing a THS red cap and gown, Olson received his diploma in front of a capacity audience at the school auditorium.

“He has earned the right to walk across this stage today,” the principal said.

With help from friend Ben Myers, Olson entered the auditorium in a wheelchair, to the strains of “Pomp and Circumstance.” A photo slide show told a story of Olson and Myers and other friends through the years. Though he did not speak during the ceremony, footage of Olson previously being asked questions about Tonganoxie was shown.

“Tonganoxie, Kansas, has to be one of the strongest and most resilient communities I know,” Olson said.

A few weeks after Olson’s diagnosis last year, then-THS senior Austin Stone was hospitalized following an incident during a routine dental procedure that left him legally blind, hard of hearing and with limited use of gross motor skills. Days later, another THS student, Jeremy Elliott, died in his sleep from a heart condition.

Team Tongie — a service group that raises funds for students and their families who are battling serious illnesses — was formed soon after.

Myers helped Olson across the stage Thursday. And after Olson received his diploma and shook hands with THS officials, Myers lifted Olson’s tassel from left to right.

His friend officially graduated.

Comments

ivalueamerica 4 years ago

A job well done, by the student and the school and his friends and family.

0

Robert Kiefer 4 years ago

Tears, More like running faucet. Tongie high has had a year many would like to forget, but beleive me no one who lives there ever will. Tough little town that has remained remarkably possitive & completely rallied around these kids. congratulations Connor!!!!!!!!!

0

Jim Williamson 4 years ago

Who said there's no tears allowed at the office?

Connor, you're a courageous young man who serves as an example to all of us when it comes to dealing with adversity. You and you family are in my thoughts and prayers.

0

MustHaveSalt 4 years ago

This is a wonderful example of brotherly love that we can all learn -- and take action -- from.

0

Dixie Jones 4 years ago

Tongie mom i could not of said it better !

0

Deja Coffin 4 years ago

Congrats Connor! You are truly an inspiration to everyone. Prayers of encouragement go out to you and your family.

0

rodentgirl16 4 years ago

Wow, there are no words...

0

TongieMom 4 years ago

CONGRATULATIONS CONNOR!!!

Connor, I think you nailed it with your quote:

“Tonganoxie, Kansas, has to be one of the strongest and most resilient communities I know,”

You've most certainly helped solidify that sentiment with your strength and courage during this difficult journey you've been on - you've been a role model to many young people (and adults!) facing challenges in their lives.

You & your family are in many peoples thoughts & prayers!

0

Commenting has been disabled for this item.