She had one wish: To walk across the stage in her cap and gown

DENMARK, S.C. (WJBF) - In Bamberg County, a terminally ill high school student gets to walk across a stage... Two years later and graduate from middle school. 

A sight Deanna Miller never imagined she would see: Her daughter, Shantell Pooser, who prefers to be called "Princess," walk across a stage in a cap and gown. 

"Doctors said we would never get this opportunity, and to finally have it... It's amazing," Miller told NewsChannel 6.

Princess has been battling a life threatening, now terminal, series of airway defects her entire life. "At any moment, she can pass out on us and suffocate," Miller explained. "I have been having to battle day after day, night after night and watch her... waking up to a blue baby not knowing how to breathe and not knowing what to do with her."

The family, not knowing what was wrong for 13 years, and then finally... After a medical trip to Cincinatti, Princess was diagnosed.

Princess's underwent life-saving surgeries during her 8th grade school year. And after, she was home-bound for months, causing her to miss out on the 8th grade graduation, school dances and freshman orientation. 

That's what compelled Miller to write a letter to Bamburg County Superintendent, Dr. Thelma Sojourner.

"We met and said 'of course she will be.' There was no reason why she would not be included in the graduation exercise for the middle school," Dr. Sojourner said.

"Excited and happy," Shantell, "Princess", described how she felt about graduating.

And Miller said Wednesday night should be an example for other families: "Be your child's voice. Moments like this is when that mother's intuition comes with a reward, and that reward is not for herself but for her child, I mean... I am going to be crying all night." 

Princess is still fighting the fight, though. In 2017, doctors told the family the growths in her airways have come back, plus some. Her mother said at this point, there is nothing more doctors can do. 
If you would like to help out with Shantell's medical costs, CLICK HERE.

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