OLATHE, Kan. -- Mackenzie Sherman celebrated the culmination of her high school career in a unique way. She celebrated at her mother's hospice bedside. Mackenzie's mom, Stacie, is fighting terminal breast cancer and her chance to make it to her daughter's graduation on May 21st isn't guaranteed.
"She has always been that support for me. I cannot tell you how close we were and to see her going through this breaks my heart because I can’t take the pain away," Mackenzie said.
To help ease that pain, and make sure Stacie would be able to enjoy her daughter's graduation, Mackenzie's school helped bring the ceremony to her a few weeks early.
"I was absolutely amazed at the power that I felt in the room at that moment and I was so excited for Kenzie and her family to have that opportunity together," Jason Herman, Olathe North High School principal said.
The ceremony was held at St. Luke's Hospice House on Thursday. Mackenzie's friends, teachers, and family were all on hand.
"It was so much more than I expected. It felt real. I got my diploma and I showed my mom and when my principal was speaking during the ceremony my mom opened her eyes and she looked at him and I knew that she knew what was going on," Mackenzie said.
Mackenzie said her mom recently lost the ability to speak but before she did, she told her daughter something she would never forget.
"The last two things she said to me was how proud she was of me and that she loved me. I told her that I was graduating and she said ‘I know, I’m very proud of you,'" she said.
As Mackenzie prepares for her next phase in life, she can do so knowing her mother found her peace.
"It was the best feeling ever to know that she knew. She looked at me and I knew she was proud of me, it was the best feeling in the world and I couldn’t have asked for anything more for her," she said.