NH woman graduates high school after losing leg to cancer
ROCHESTER — The slogan on the program for the Bud Carlson Academy (BCA) graduation was "Making a difference...One student at a time" and in the case of a New Hampshire woman who has battled cancer since 2007, those words couldn't be more true.
In 2014, Alice Wade, 19, was diagnosed with sarcoma cancer, a rare form of cancer that develops from certain tissues, like bone or muscle. Wade's left leg was amputated a year later due to the tumor.
Due to her battle with cancer, Wade's high school career was prolonged to June 14 of this year.
“I’ve been in high school for six years now and missed a chunk of my high school career," Wade said." "To come back strong and to finally be here on my graduating night, means so much to me.”
Along side Wade on her graduation night were 14 other graduates including lifelong friend Cynthia Tower.
“She’s been working really hard with her leg, and I can’t wait her to actually walk across that stage," Towers said. "Even though it is a little ways, it is a big thing for her to accomplish.”
During the ceremony, Alicia Otis, a representative of the Elaine Pollard Memorial Scholarship, touched on how BCA treats every student as a person, not a number. The commitment from the staff towards the students was shown Wednesday as staff, members of the board, and the superintendent of schools sat on the stage in front of the students, ready to hand them their hard-earned diplomas.
BCA is the oldest alternative school in the state after its beginning in 1974 and has been its own independent high school program for the past nine years. It has since molded students for post-high school education and jobs through studies and community service.
After the ceremony, Wade's mother said that BCA couldn't have been a better place for her daughter.
“Why I wanted to come speak at this graduation, is because each and every one of you, in some way has overcome something that should have stopped you," said New Hampshire native Justin Spencer of Recycled Percussion, who was the featured commencement speaker. "There are people that have less challenges and obstacles than you have had and given up. And that to me speaks volumes to your courage, your tenacity, and the reasons why you are sitting here today. You should be very proud of yourselves.”
Congratulations Alicia and the rest of the 2017 BCA graduating class.