Tennessee college holds early ceremony so mom with cancer can see son graduate

KINGSPORT, TN (WJHL)- Friday a local school made a dream come true for a mom diagnosed with cancer.

Donna Carver’s son Robert was set to graduate this May from Northeast State Community College. But just a few months ago Donna  was unexpectedly diagnosed with cancer.

As his graduation date got closer, his mom’s cancer progressed quickly.

So much so that Robert contacted Trinity Memorial Funeral Home in Kingsport to make her funeral arrangements. The funeral home’s owner Weston Leonard learned Donna’s goal was to see her son graduate.

So he reached out to Northeast State to see if they could make it happen the next day.

“We took it upon ourselves to put together a program for this young man and his mother in this very special time of year and we’re just more than happy to oblige the request and to make this happen today. And we’re just honored we were asked to do something that we could help during this time of need,” Northeast State President Dr. Janice Gilliam said.

When Robert found out that Northeast State said yes, “I broke down, I mean I was over-filled with emotions. I just couldn’t believe that somebody stuck their neck out for me and took it in their control, and made this kind of call and set all this up,” Carver said.

College deans, the school’s president, even Kingsport’s mayor and city leaders came to support this family.

Donna even got to hear from her son’s professors, “Most importantly he’s a good person. I want to congratulate and compliment you Mrs. Carver for what a fine young man that you have raised,” one professor said.

“My mom was through this with me through thick and thin and I mean I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for her, I just want to thank them so much for letting me have this opportunity,” Robert said.

He said after years of seeing his mom give her life to others as a social worker, it’s amazing to see people come together to do this for her.

“It just means the world to her that she, cause this was her main goal, and she got to see it,” Robert said.

Trinity Memorial Funeral Home in Kingsport is helping the family with donations that come in, if you’d like to help you can call 423.723.8177.

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