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Pryor High honors graduate with leukemia at commencement ceremony

Javon Blake special graduation
Posted at 10:07 PM, May 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-25 23:49:22-04

PRYOR, Okla. — 18-year-old Javon Blake watched his high school graduation ceremony Friday on a computer screen from a hospital bed at St. Jude's Children Research Hospital in Memphis.

"I wasn't going to watch it at first," Javon said. "I don't know. I just wasn't going to. I thought it was going to be too hard."

Acute Myeloid Leukemia kept him from walking across the stage and accepting his four-year diploma along with his fellow classmates.

In December, after recovering from a bout with coronavirus, the Pryor High wrestler was surprisingly diagnosed with the cancerous disease. 2 News spoke with Javon just weeks before his first round of chemo treatments.

In late January, a doctor told Javon his expected two-month stay needed to be extended.

"I’m not going to lie, I cried. That hurt," he said. "That was the very first big news that I wasn’t going to get to go home any sooner than I had hoped or even when I had hoped.”

What Javon did not lose was his will to keep on fighting. Javon matched with a bone marrow donor and after a fourth round of chemo he underwent a cell transfusion, two weeks ago.

"My body has accepted it, to say, and it’s going to start working more and there’s not as high of a chance for rejection anymore," he said.

Javon is now on the fast track to recovery, just in time to tune into his Graduation Day. Pryor High Principal J.R. Winton flew Javon's cap and gown to him in April, and he shared a few words about the senior class leader before calling his name at commencement.

It was followed by a standing ovation from Javon's classmates — a gesture of support and appreciation felt hundreds of miles away.

“I never thought I would’ve had that and it’s a great feeling to know that I do have that," Javon said.

Javon was told by doctors, this week, he could be released from the hospital and assigned to outpatient care on Sunday. He is hopeful he can return home to Pryor in August.


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