by Jimmy Lee King
Grace Elizabeth Randolph graduated from Bellevue Kentucky High School in front of a packed house. Grace’s mother Julie, was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer in 2013. Not taking a chance on Julie, not being able to watch her daughter in cap and gown graduate, the members of the Bellevue community made the decision to move up Grace’s graduation ceremony for tonight Tuesday, February 10th 2015.
The spirit of the community was alive in the Bellevue High School auditorium. Everyone there was focused and gave special attention to this ceremony.
Julie’s Oncologist, Dr David Draper at Good Samaritan Hospital of Cincinnati OH, gave an inspiring commencement speech encouraging everyone to push through the fears and doubt and create each of our own lives. Making mistakes is part of the path to success and overall happiness regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation. Julie has been his patient through the battle with cancer and he gave everyone lots of credit for making tonight about celebrating Grace’s graduation and not focusing on the battle Julie has endured.
When Grace Elizabeth Randolph’s name was announced to accept her diploma, the large crowd erupted into applause. Grace, by herself walked on stage in her Bellevue-colored, yellow cap and gown, and graciously received her diploma, in front of her; friends, family and in front row center was her proud mother who indeed got to watch her daughter graduate from High School.
Grace, gave a speech thanking all who made this evening possible and how it “truly was a dream come true”. Although rehearsing her speech without tears ahead of time, she couldn’t prevent her tears during her speech when talking to her mother saying “To my Mom, I never saw true bravery, strength and fight until I saw it in you. Thank you for your love and support. You’ve always been my #1 fan. You’re the reason I stand here today, you are an amazing person, thank you, I love you.” She said to her classmates “life is short, just like I am (laughter) focus on what matters and let go of what doesn’t.”
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