Classes only started about a month ago in Eufaula but one student there already got his diploma at a special ceremony.
Ajay King is only 15, but for him, graduation is now or never as he’s spent the past year fighting cancer.
“Just figuring out you have cancer…That is probably the hardest thing you have to hear in life,” he said.
Surgeons removed his left hip and part of his pelvis and he went through months of chemo, or, as he calls it, “magic-make-you-miserable-medicine,” but none of that worked.
Doctors said King doesn't have much time left, which is almost too much for his dad to bear.
“Tears you apart on the inside. It's hard to deal with. I try to be strong,” he said.
But King seems to have enough strength for everyone around him.
“You just realize, that's that, and you grow to just appreciate the life you've led up to that point,” he said.
His bedroom walls show off some his achievements – artwork, scholastic awards, basketball medals, cards and posters of encouragement, but nothing was as great as the love he got on his graduation day.
King dreams of working as a forensic investigator, so an Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper drove him to graduation as 20 other law enforcement officers escorted him, calling out their support for Ajay over the radio.
Elementary and middle school students lined the sidewalks holding up signs and cheering for Ajay; folks in downtown Eufaula did the same.
Then he received his diploma, but that wasn't all; King was named a Eufaula police officer.
“I just can't not be positive right now,” he said.
For King, none of this is about death, instead, he’s using the time he has left to simply live.
“I just pray the rest of my time is going to be good,” he said.
King has a few things left on his bucket list, like eating crab, taking his nephew to the Jenks Aquarium and watching Tom Brady play an NFL game. A Go Fund Me has been set up to help him fulfill that list.
You can also send him cards of encouragement at:
PO Box 941
Eufaula, OK 74432