RENO, Nev. – A dad lived long enough to watch his youngest daughter graduate from the University of Nevada, Reno.
Kenny Warthan, 59, is battling lung cancer, and doctors believe he has just a little while longer to live. His youngest daughter, Kendra, was even more heartbroken to learn he may not live to see her graduate from the University of Nevada, Reno in the spring.
The Reno-Gazette Journal reports that when faculty adviser Jenna Dewar learned Kendra’s father was sick, she wanted to make sure he saw his daughter graduate.
“She’s that student who always has such a positive attitude,” said Dewar. “Always a smile on her face.”
At first, Dewar arranged to have Kendra attend the winter commencement ceremony. But sadly, Kendra’s grandfather passed away before the December commencement, and her father was too sick to attend.
So instead, school officials pulled together a private graduation ceremony for Kendra and her family. About 40 people attended, including the Dean of the College of Education.
A faculty speaker spoke at Kendra’s graduation, and her father couldn’t have been more proud. Kendra is the first in her family to graduate from college.
Her dad was seated in the front row in his wheelchair with a bouquet of roses in his hand.
“I am just so proud,” Kenny told the Reno Gazette-Journal.
Kendra was determined to finish college. She found out she was pregnant in high school, and decided she wasn’t going to let it stop her from accomplishing her goal of earning a degree.
At 22, she has accomplished that goal.
“I don’t want people to think what I’ve gone through makes me special,” said Kendra. “What everyone is going through is something.”