6-year-old Walter Herbert (a.k.a. “Superbubz”), from Faifield, Ohio, has terminal cancer. Like most kids his age, he looks forward to doing everything the “big kids” get to do.
Of course, not knowing if you will ever experience those things could be scary and disappointing. But Walter happens to attend one of finest schools in Ohio, where people care about each other, look out for one another, and help each other reach their goals, no matter how distant they might seem.
One thing Walter really wanted to experience was graduating from high school one day.
“When he first got here, he wrote it in his agenda,” said one of Walters classroom teachers, Kim Eichhold, in an interview with WLWT.
An Excellent Student
Eichold is a well-trained educator who knows that all students can be treated fairly, but differently. But it’s difficult to ignore her obvious affection for Walter.
“He is spunky,” she described. “He is full of energy all the time. His smile is my favorite part. I love seeing him smile.”
Knowing that earning a high school diploma was on Walter’s list of things he looked forward to accomplishing, the amazing staff at his school opened up that door of possibility for him.
Besides, Walter loves school and is a very intelligent kid, and they wanted to do something special for him.
Going For It!
Once given the go-ahead, Walter completed the task of going from second to twelfth grade in two days—something we’re sure has to be some kind of world record!
“He is six! Some adults don’t even go through their life doing that,” said Eichhold. “So, he is very special.”
Walter’s school principal, Kari Gallo, was right there with him over a two day period as he passed each and every grade one by one. During that time, Gallo had an opportunity to describe in detail what it’s like to go through school all the way through graduation.
“We’ve talked as we’ve gone from class to class and I tried to just let him really see it from an outside perspective,” said Gallo. “We talked about how big the chairs get as you get older how big the kids get as they get older. ”
The challenge to earn such an honor so quickly presented some obstacles, however. For example, he slept through his entire fifth grade. “Which is totally ok!” Gallos explained. “When he was in fourth grade I asked him if he wanted to stop or if he wanted to go to fifth grade and take a nap and he said he would go to fifth grade and take a nap!”
Graduation Ceremony – Check!
Walter rebounded from fifth grade quite nicely, and he was excited to graduate from high school on Friday, complete with cap and gown courtesy of the school and Principal Gallos. “He doesn’t quit, does he?” said Gallos. “He’s a true hero.”
He knows the audience will be filled with his classmates and his family and friends who support him and are proud of his accomplishment.
When Gallo was asked what her advice would be for young Walter after he graduates, she said, “I think I would tell him just to fly free. Just grow your wings and fly free.”
Watch the video below:
Source: Ohio boy, 6, with terminal cancer fast tracks to high school graduation from NBC41.