Menomonee Falls High School relocates a student's graduation ceremony so dying father can celebrate

Posted at 12:33 PM, May 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-22 14:52:02-04

MILWAUKEE — A Menomonee Falls High School student was able to grant her father one of his final wishes when she graduated during a special ceremony on the family's front lawn Friday.

Kenyette Edwards, dressed in a cap, gown, and protective mask, was surrounded by friends and family when she received her diploma from Menomonee Falls High School Principal Bob Vitale.

"I used to like sit at the table and like do work for like three to four hours a day just so I could have this moment for my dad," said Kenyette.

Kenyette's dad, Kenyatta, has been fighting stage four lung cancer for the past year and is now in hospice care.

"I’m going to cherish every moment of her," said Kenyatta, moments before his daughter walked a make-shift stage on his front lawn.

The father of seven has never missed a graduation. He said he has been fighting to make it to this one, and every day has been exhausting.

With the coronavirus pandemic interrupting graduation plans, and a virtual ceremony was not scheduled to happen until the end of June, Kenyette's mom Natasha was worried the ceremony was too far out.

"She was like 'Mom, my dad hasn’t missed a graduation and I don’t want him to miss this one,' and I’m like 'we are going to make it happen," said Natasha Dotson, mother of the graduate.

So, Natasha contacted Menomonee Falls High School.

"There's no thought process in this. You just come and do what you got to do," said Vitale, who brought the graduation ceremony to the family's front lawn.

"I’ve been holding on as long as I can," said Kenyatta as he proudly watched his daughter graduate.

Now, with a diploma in hand, Kenyette is focused on cherishing final moments with her dad.

"That’s all I wanted. For my daddy to see me to walk across the stage," said Kenyette.

Next, she is considering continuing her education and pursuing a career in nursing.

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