Graduate doesn't let cancer stop her from crossing the stage - WNEM TV 5

Graduate doesn't let cancer stop her from crossing the stage

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Haley Coleman is shown in her senior photo. (Source: Family Photo) Haley Coleman is shown in her senior photo. (Source: Family Photo)

It's a long and not always an easy road to high school graduation. For a Bay County graduate Friday night, hearing her name and walking across the stage as a John Glenn High School graduate of 2013 proved her perseverance.

"This is like, so crazy. I'm so happy," said Haley Coleman.

Coleman said there were doubts she'd ever reach this moment. TV5 sat down with her family before her big night to hear her story. Two years ago, she was diagnosed with a cancerous brain stem tumor. The tumor caused problems quickly.

"They said, if we go in and do surgery, she may not come out the same way she went in," said Melissa Coleman, Haley's mother.

Rather than removing it, Haley went in for six straight weeks of radiation treatment. She said last year at this time, she could hardly walk and talk.

"Through this situation, I just really gave it all to God," said Haley Coleman.

Her parents, Steve and Melissa Coleman, said they didn't know what to expect.

"When it hits your family, it really, really gives you an eye-opener to enjoy life, treasure life. We did not know where we would be," said Steve Coleman.

But for now, the treatment has worked. The majority of the cancer is gone, and Haley has learned to walk and talk again.

"Whatever I'm going through, I know there's going to be an outcome and a reason for it," said Haley Coleman. 

And on Friday night, that reason was at center stage for one short moment. She had an inspirational lesson in perseverance for all to see.

"You'll find life's a lot easier looking at the positives and not always the negatives," said Haley Coleman.

She plans to attend the Ramp School of Ministry in Hamilton, AL, this fall.

As far as her cancer, last December, doctors told the family there might be very little left of the tumor. She'll go in for an MRI later this month, and the family said they're putting their faith in God it's gone entirely.

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