This Terminally Ill 6-Year-Old Received An Honorary High School Diploma

Jordan Planitz just graduated high school even though he’s only 6-years-old. Not because he’s just another Doogie Howser even though he’s a pretty bright little kid. It’s because he has a terminal illness. MPPH syndrome is a neurological illness that can cause seizures and mental retardation with an undiagnosed cause. But the worst part of Jordan’s illness is his shortened life expectancy which is what led the students if Tri-City High School in Illinois to let Jordan to be an honorary graduate at their ceremony this past week.

Earlier in the year Principal Dustin Day would invite sick children to act as school principal for just one day and that’s when the students and staff met Jordan for the first time. With Jordan’s case and spirit effecting the students, knowing he would never see his own graduation, the senior class approached Day asking if Jordan could attend their graduation ceremony and be given an honorary certificate.

Jordan’s mother spoke with ABC News regarding how she sat there at the graduation thinking she would never have this experience with her son. Then Jordan’s name was called.

“It was bittersweet at first,” she said. “I was watching all of these high school students getting up, receiving their diplomas and sitting down and knew that I won’t have that. Then Dustin Day announced Jordan, who was wearing his own little cap and gown, and the class president came out into the audience and they walked him up on the stage.”

His parents say that they aren’t sure how much Jordan understood during the ceremony, but he obviously recognized the applause and cheering was for him, not to mention the certificate given to him. Jordan’s mom said the students took care of Jordan all day, congratulating him and even walking him up and down the stairs after his name was called so he could receive his diploma. His parents say it was a dream come true for not only themselves, but for Jordan as well.