Early graduation for one deserving senior - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Early graduation for one deserving senior

Lynzee Ford smiles as she listens to friends at her early graduation Lynzee Ford smiles as she listens to friends at her early graduation
KILGORE, TX (KLTV) - Lynzee Ford wears a brave face. She was diagnosed with leukemia in January, and has undergone five rounds of chemotherapy, but doctors tell her in spite of all that, she doesn't have long to live.

Lynzee is a Kilgore High School student and was involved in athletics there. When her friends heard she may not live to graduate,  they decided they would just move her graduation to October.

It had all the pomp and circumstance of any high school graduation, but only one received a diploma: Lynzee Ford. The entire student body was there for Lynzee.

Kathy Mehringer is a teacher and assistant coach at Kilgore High school, and has watched Lynzee grow up.

“It's a culmination of kindergarten through twelve years of education for her, and a life of memories with her and her classmates. Lynzee is one of the strongest people I know, and she's taught us a lot about family and fighting and never giving up,” Kathy said.

Her friends and Kilgore ISD administration made sure that this graduation was the real thing for the soft-spoken 17-year-old senior. Kilgore High school Principal Gregg Brown was honored to be keynote speaker.

“Lynzee is a very special young lady here at Kilgore High School and is loved by us all, and she wanted to graduate from here and we wanted to make sure that happened,” Gregg stated.

Lynzee's friends shared stories of time spent together, and her mother, Valerie Warren, also had a chance to tell everyone how special Lynzee is, and to do some public mothering.

“Momma still loves you, but you're grown and you're going to have to get a job,” Valerie said.

During the ceremony Kathy Mehringer said she and Lynzee got a chance to talk one day after softball practice while waiting for Lynzee's mom, and Kathy learned more about Lynzee and her relationship with her family. Kathy knew then what a wonderful person Lynzee is and how family means everything to her.

“That day you became the teacher and I became the student, and you showed me what it's like to have family and to have dreams. And this is your day, this is an awesome day: your graduation day. I love you,” Kathy revealed.

Lynzee's friends decided she had to be able to attend her prom, so they're moving that up for her, too. Lynzee will attend her prom in November.

Kilgore residents organized and fixed up Lynzees mother's home, making it wheelchair friendly. Also, a fund has been set up to help Lynzee and her family with medical expenses.

If you'd like to help, you can donate to the "I Love Lynzee Project" at Kilgore National Bank.

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