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Metro teen with terminal illness gets very special high school graduation ceremony

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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — Jacob Richey has only months to live, and his condition meant that he couldn't make it to his high school graduation.

So his high school brought the special day to him.

Richey, who suffers from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, is a Van Horn High School student — but he has never been able to attend class due to the disease, instead taking classes at home. But several Van Horn students and Independence School District staffers decided that they wanted to do something special for him.

On Sunday, friends, classmates and well-wishers gathered to give Richey, 18, what he always wanted, a graduation ceremony.

"The people who are here, are very excited to be here. And are loving that they are able to do this," said Mindy Holthe said.

Doctors say that Richey's heart and lungs are shutting down, and he has only a few months left before he succumbs to the disease. But his family says that he has finally met his goal—just in time.

"He's figured it out and he's done it. And he's never gave up," said Richey's mom, Melissa Richey.