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Sycamore senior diagnosed with brain tumor walks across graduation stage

Sycamore High School graduate Parker Denny stands with the assistance of a walker, in a green robe and hat with a school administrator, as he receives his diploma on a stage.
Posted at 11:10 PM, May 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-30 23:31:37-04

MONTGOMERY, Ohio — Sycamore High School graduate Parker Denny didn't love that he used a walker to move across the stage to collect his diploma Sunday, but that's not the point.

"It felt great that I was able to walk up there actually and grab my diploma," he said.

To understand why, you have to understand where Denny has been: In February, the sports-loving high school senior was diagnosed with a brain tumor. The 29th day of that month was the last time he was able to set foot in a classroom.

"He's worked very hard to be here, and I think they recognized that," said Vicki Yeazel, Parker's grandmother.

Surgeons were able to remove the tumor, but the surgeries caused him to develop posteria fossa syndrome, which affects his ability to walk, talk and swallow.

"It was almost like he had a stroke," Yeazel said.

But he never gave up after the diagnosis, and eventually began regaining some strength.

Rose Mitchell is a counselor at Sycamore High School. She said the school district community has come together in support.

"Anytime we've needed anything, the community has rallied together to support him: everything from jersey day to Parker Denny Week," Mitchell said.

Denny was voted Prom King this year before, on Sunday, two days before turning 18 years old, he graduated.