High school senior battling brain tumor gets special graduation

He is the heart and soul of the senior class at Decatur High School in Federal Way, Wash. So when doctors told 18-year-old Dom Cooks he might not live to see graduation, his fellow students brought graduation to him.

On Thursday evening in the school's gymnasium, Cooks' classmates organized an entire ceremony, complete with caps and gowns for Dom and his twin sister, Diamond.

His fellow seniors say it just felt like the right thing to do, for a student as loved and respected as Dom.

"I think it's just his spirit, it brings us all up, and when we're having bad days, he's always there to cheer us through," said Sierra Shugarts. "He's a good person to have around, with or without his condition."

His condition, according to family members, is cancer he's been battling for several years, that's now spread to his brain.

"Nothing is promised," he told KING 5 earlier this week.

During Thursday's graduation ceremony, several of Dom's teachers got choked up as they spoke at the podium.

"Your perseverance has been absolutely miraculous," one told Dom.

Another was fighting back tears, until Dom started cheering from his seat in the audience and made her and the rest of the crowd start laughing.

"I've learned that the fact that you are ill might be about the least important and least interesting thing that there is to know about you," she said.

Just before it was time for Dom and Diamond to walk across the stage and get their diplomas, a Super Bowl-sized surprise entered the room.

The gymnasium exploded into cheers when Seahawks' wide receiver Doug Baldwin walked in.

"I had the privilege of meeting Dom during one of our regular season games," said Baldwin.

Baldwin said his own mother met Dom at that game as well, and instantly noticed something special about the young man.

"It didn't take too long for me to realize the special character this guy is," said Baldwin. "But Dom would tell you himself, don't feel sorry for him, because God's got him. So today, Dom, this is a celebration of you and Diamond and your relationship and what you've done for this community."

He also gave Dom and Diamond Seahawks jerseys and told them their family is an inspiration.

Despite what doctors have said, Dom remains optimistic. He says he'll keep fighting the cancer and the tumors every day, for as long he can.


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