Rensselaer teen who underwent health struggles graduates high school

RENSSELAER, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A young man getting his high school degree in Rensselaer is one wonderful story coming out of the graduation season.

It’s easy to understand why graduation day was overwhelming for Michael Cancer. He was born with Hirschsprung’s disease and spent much of his early years in hospitals and getting transplants of the liver and small bowel.

“I was in the hospital for a really long time, and I couldn’t walk for some amount of months, and I just didn’t want to do anything,” he said. “But my mom was like, ‘You gotta do it. You gotta do it,’ and my mom strived for me to do it.”

Pushing her little boy to go to school. Sometimes when he was in pain and had tubes coming out of his body was tough for mom.

“And I know it was hard for him to be different from everybody else, but he still went,” his mom, Jacobia Gilmore said. “It could have been a situation where he said, ‘I don’t want to be around other people; I’m not like everybody else,’ but he still pushed through.”

Thursday night, despite all the medical obstacles, he graduated with his Regents diploma.

“When I think about it, I fill up” his mom said. “Tears come. Tears of joy because it could have went a different way.”

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