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Congratulations, Justin! ETCH holds special graduation ceremony for William Blount HS senior

The East Tennessee Children's Hospital said Justin was too sick to attend his graduation ceremony, so staff and volunteers got together to hold special commencement for him.
Credit: ETCH
Cory Barnes (left) congratulates Justin after presenting him his diploma from William Blount High School.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The tassel was turned, Pomp and Circumstance rang out, and the cake was cut. 

 For Justin, a senior at William Blount High School and East Tennessee Children's Hospital patient, this was his moment.

He was supposed to walk across the stage during the May 13 commencement ceremony, but was too sick to attend last night. Because of the unfortunate circumstance, ETCH staff and volunteers decided to do him one better -- putting together his own personal graduation ceremony complete with guests, cake, decorations and piano accompaniment. 

ETCH said volunteer Cory Barnes, an Army Staff Sergeant based in Oak Ridge, and two fellow NCOs from Maryville arrived to do the honors and present Justin with his diploma.

READ MORE: Patients from ETCH have a wonderful time at Zoo Knoxville for Dream Night

►ALSO READ: East Tennessee Children's Hospital provides powerful tribute to young organ donors with honor walk