Scotlandville Magnet gives diploma to terminally ill teen - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Scotlandville Magnet gives diploma to terminally ill teen

This closeup of Jerome Singleton shows him enjoying his final request, to graduate before he dies (Source: Family) This closeup of Jerome Singleton shows him enjoying his final request, to graduate before he dies (Source: Family)
A group gathered for Jerome's special graduation at his home, where he's under hospice care (Source: Family) A group gathered for Jerome's special graduation at his home, where he's under hospice care (Source: Family)
SCOTLANDVILLE, LA (WAFB) -

A woman belted Oh Happy Day, a gospel song, while a bed-ridden teenager clapped and mouthed the words of his favorite song.

Jerome Singleton, 17, was happy. He had family and friends from his school, Scotlandville Magnet High, and even the school's principal at his home. They gathered Wednesday, May 17 to perform a graduation ceremony for Singleton. While many children wish for amusement parks or special toys as a final wish, Jerome quietly told his parents his dying wish would be to graduate from his school.

After the rousing happy song, which featured the rest of the people in the room acting as backup singers for the wonderful lead singer, Singleton mouthed the words along with them, even though he couldn't speak or sing, after his parents slipped on his graduation gown and cap, Singleton smiled triumphantly.

He was diagnosed back in 2015 with a cancer called Rhabdomyosarcoma, or RMS. Rhabdomyosarcoma usually strikes fetuses and babies, but can attack people much older too. It's a cancer made up of cells that normally develop into skeletal muscles.

The next two years were back and forth between Baton Rouge and Memphis to St. Jude's Research Hospital for treatment. In that time, Singleton has received 47 chemo treatments. His family received the devastating news that the treatments did not work and the aggressive cancer has now spread throughout his body. Singleton was moved home for hospice care on May 9. The nurse and medical help who visit him every day are mainly trying to make sure he's comfortable as his body breaks down and life comes to an end.

In the home, Singleton finds joy playing video games with any one of his nine siblings, aged 18 to 4. The family, with two parents, Jerome Cockran and Keisha Singleton, is rather large as a result of two families coming together. Singleton also loves, loves, loves the Chicago Bulls basketball team.

Lakisha Harris, a type of designated as a spokesman for the family, says, "His family is now rushed to try to find light in this dark situation so that his last days can somehow be good days. And shortly thereafter, they will be thrust into another battle of dealing with the hole left in their hearts from grief as well as the medical and burial financial burdens."

Harris says the family would be so grateful for help to pay for the upcoming funeral and medical costs they've accrued beyond the free help they always get at St. Jude. There is a GoFundMe account set up by the family.

Copyright WAFB 2017. All Rights Reserved. 

  • Local/State NewsMore>>

  • Officers go out into community hoping to build better connection

    Officers go out into community hoping to build better connection

    Thursday, April 26 2018 7:22 AM EDT2018-04-26 11:22:00 GMT
    Sheriff Sid Gautreaux, District Attorney Hillar Moore, and other walked around a neighborhood meeting with residents. (Source: WAFB)Sheriff Sid Gautreaux, District Attorney Hillar Moore, and other walked around a neighborhood meeting with residents. (Source: WAFB)

    For a few hours Wednesday, many law enforcement officers were out trying to build a better connection with the community, hopefully making it easier to call in those tips.

    More >>

    For a few hours Wednesday, many law enforcement officers were out trying to build a better connection with the community, hopefully making it easier to call in those tips.

    More >>
  • HAND IT ON: Mighty Moms

    HAND IT ON: Mighty Moms

    Thursday, April 26 2018 6:29 AM EDT2018-04-26 10:29:52 GMT
    Dawn Birdsong and Beth Clark founded Mighty Moms to make sure kids don't go hungry (Source: WAFB)Dawn Birdsong and Beth Clark founded Mighty Moms to make sure kids don't go hungry (Source: WAFB)

    This week's Hand It On goes to a group of moms dedicated to making sure hungry kids have food to eat, even on weekends.

    More >>

    This week's Hand It On goes to a group of moms dedicated to making sure hungry kids have food to eat, even on weekends.

    More >>
  • DOTD hosts meetings to inform residents about I-10 construction

    DOTD hosts meetings to inform residents about I-10 construction

    Thursday, April 26 2018 5:32 AM EDT2018-04-26 09:32:22 GMT
    Traffic (Source: WAFB)Traffic (Source: WAFB)

    The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) is hosting two informal, open house meetings this month to inform residents about the ongoing construction on I-10 between Highland Road in Baton Rouge and LA 73 in Ascension Parish.

    More >>

    The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) is hosting two informal, open house meetings this month to inform residents about the ongoing construction on I-10 between Highland Road in Baton Rouge and LA 73 in Ascension Parish.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly