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Disease Doesn't Stop Student From Getting Diploma

Teenager graduates high school with academic honor after receiving help from special LAUSD program that brought teachers to his bedside.

Daniel Amaya, who lives much of his life connected to a respirator in a bed and wheelchair, has graduated from Canoga Park High School with special recognition for academic excellence.

Amaya, 18, was profiled by Patch in November in a story about North Hollywood’s , a Los Angeles Unified School District program that helps injured and sick youths keep up with their studies by sending teachers to their bedsides.

At Canoga Park High’s graduation ceremony Tuesday night, Daniel received his diploma when his name was called first and his mother, Ana, wheeled him onto the stage. Daniel also received a gold “Scholar’s Tassel,” in recognition of his 4.3 grade-point-average.

"Daniel has overcome many physical challenges to get to this place,” Principal Pam Hamashita told the crowd. “He personifies the spirit, the can-do persistence of the best of this Class of 2011. He is a real Canoga Park Hunter."

Daniel is severely limited in physical movement by Osteogenesis imperfecta, or brittle bone disease; and he also has Von Willebrand Disease, a bleeding disorder. He spends much of his days in a specially outfitted wheelchair, complete with a laptop computer.

"This has been a day I've been looking forward to for a long time,” Daniel told Patch Tuesday night. “When I was really sick, I didn't think I was going to graduate. Thanks to everyone that has helped me in achieving this goal."

Daniel Amaya June 10, 2011 at 12:03 AM
Thanks for coming to the graduation and for writing this!
Noe Gold June 12, 2011 at 06:38 AM
You are most welcome, Daniel! Knowing you is the real pleasure. Don't forget to send people to this link on Patch and to my story on SoCalFamilyMagazine.com when it comes out next week.

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