(Sioux Falls, SD) - Wednesday Sanford Children's Castle of Care™ celebrated a commencement ceremony for Jeremy Eagle, 20, a patient from St. Francis, SD. Jeremy received his honorary diploma from Todd County High School in Mission, SD.
The school also recognized Jeremy with a varsity letter for track and wrestling. In March 2009, physicians diagnosed Jeremy with Ewing sarcoma, a type of cancer.
"I wanted to graduate. I didn't want to be a drop out. You need to graduate to go on in life. I was always told if you don't get a diploma you won't amount to anything," Jeremy said.
He added that his advice to others, "Just keep trying and you can do it."
Throughout his treatment, Sanford Children's multi-disciplinary team addressed Jeremy's needs, including providing for continuity in his education. The hospital school program at Sanford Children's offers educational services to all school-aged children grades K-12. The goal of the program is to encourage learning and make hospitalization a growth-producing experience.
Following the ceremony, Jeremy enjoyed punch, cake and pizza, opened presents and took a senior portrait. The Todd County community sent a star quilt for Jeremy's special day. A string quartet from the South Dakota Symphony and Dakota Academy of Performing Arts played while Surprises by LJB donated balloons, Hot Stuff gave a 52-inch party pizza and Jostens of Sioux Falls provided a cap and gown in the Todd County High School colors.