HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Graduating high school is something many students take for granted, but for one senior at Sci-Tech High School in Dauphin County, it's nothing short of a miracle
Doctors said Cameron DeRoiste would not live past 7 or 8 years old.
A disability caused him to face serious physical challenges and limited his ability to communicate.
"Proud is an understatement," said Dara DeRoiste of Harrisburg, the father of Cameron DeRoiste.
DeRoiste is a proud father because his son Cameron continues to defy the odds.
Cameron walked the stage with the Harrisburg School District Class of 2018 at the Farm Show Arena in Harrisburg.
"When you have a child with disabilities, and they get their diagnosis, the doctors have to be precarious when it comes to giving you information on what to expect in the future so they always sort of hedge their bets and gave us, more or less, the worst case scenario," said Dara.
Diagnosed as a child with a form of cerebral palsy, Dara says the teen wasn't expected to attend high school, let alone walk at his graduation.
"We were told - it's a possibility he wouldn't be able to walk. He was walking since he was 7-years-old," explained Dara.
The disability challenged Cameron physically and also limited his ability to talk.
Time and time again, though, loved ones say Cameron hasn't allowed his diagnosis to define him, even taking honor classes at Sci-Tech High School to his principal's surprise
"When they first said to me, we accepted Cameron into Sci-Tech, I didn't know him personally at that time. I was a little nervous, I must admit, but Cameron was determined, and a hard worker, and he proved to everyone there's nothing wrong with him intellectually," said Dr. Sieta Achampong, the principal.
His dad thanked the doctors, therapists, educators, and people who supported Cameron all these years, helping him get here.
While many teenagers celebrate their high school graduation, this commencement has a special meaning for Cameron and his father.
"Just watching the culmination of years of him overcoming, every time they said, 'he's not going to be able to do x,y, and z,' and he's done it time and time again," said Dara.
Cameron will exceed expectations once again; his father says he'll soon be duel enrolled at Sci-Tech High School and Harrisburg University.
He'll receive physical support and tutoring from the high school, while looking to receive yet another diploma and a degree.