17-year-old with cancer passes away day after special graduation ceremony

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KALAMAZOO, Mich. – A high school senior who had been fighting a long battle with cancer, received a special graduation ceremony just one day before she passed away.

According to FOX 4’s sister station, FOX 17 in West Michigan, 17-year-old senior Yeatise Gaines had endured a long standing battle with cancer which affected her bones and muscles, eventually affecting the teens ability to experience life normally. Despite her illness, teachers and family said Gaines maintained her desire for learning, even having a tutor visit her when she was no longer able to go to school.

Gaines’ family said graduating high school was one of the teen’s biggest dreams, so when she landed back in the hospital, her family asked the school for their help with a graduation ceremony for her. School staff showed up to the hospital with a cap, gown, and certificate of completion for Gaines.

“It meant the world to her,” her sister Ava told FOX 17. “Even if it wasn’t the normal, it was still really important to her.”

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