By: Ava K.
As many parents do, mom Stephanie Northcott dreamed of the day that she would watch her son, Dalton Jackson, walk across a stage and receive his high school diploma. However, after being diagnosed with a rare cancer in 2015 and being hospitalized 400 miles away from home, she was faced with the possibility that she might miss this special moment.
“For two years, that’s all she’s been talking about. She wanted to make her son’s graduation,” said Julie Northcott, a good friend of Stephanie who is now married to her former husband.
Stephanie’s son was set to graduate from Halls High School in Halls, Tennessee on May 18th. A few months before the graduation, doctors revealed to Stephanie that they were afraid that she wouldn’t make it. So thanks to amazing school staff members, loving family, and dedicated friends, Stephanie was able to have her dream come true with the graduation coming to her early.
Dalton was able to get his diploma a couple weeks before the high school’s official graduation and on May 4, 2018, Stephanie’s hospital bed was wheeled into the chapel of Baptist Memorial Hospital East in Memphis, Tennessee.
“She had no idea what was going on,” Julie said. In the chapel, the traditional graduation
Song “Pomp and Circumstance” began playing while Dalton walked into the room followed by his football teammates in their jerseys and some friends from his graduating class in their caps and gowns.
Stephanie struggled to speak, but she thanked everyone immensely for providing her with this moment.
Stephanie told Dalton, “You can do anything you put your mind to. Don’t ever forget that.”
After Dalton received his diploma, him and his mom danced to “I Won’t Let Go” by the Rascal Flatts.
After this heartwarming event, Dalton plans to go to college in Mississippi and play football. Meanwhile, Stephanie will still be battling cancer from Lynch syndrome.
Stephanie’s daughter, Amber, died of the same condition in 2012, when she was just 21 years old. Stephanie has been in the hospital since the 25th of April and according to her friend Julie, she hasn’t been doing well.
“She’s so strong-willed.” Julie says, “ It’s just amazing how strong she really is.”
Julie also said that their family and friends have set up a fund for Stephanie to help pay for hospital bills and funeral expenses.