This story originally appeared at InspireMore.
Only a few months ago, things were pretty normal for the Bodsfords.
The family from Powhatan, Virginia, enjoyed the life they all shared. Patrick and Stephanie worked together at their auto detailing business while their son Ethan was busy with his second year of college and their daughter Abby was gearing up to graduate from high school. Then everything changed.
Not long after the family celebrated Christmas, Stephanie received life-changing news. She had been diagnosed with stage four esophageal cancer. But with the support of her family, she was prepared to go through treatment and fight as hard as she could. Unfortunately, the devastating disease had other plans.
On March 25, Stephanie was given just a week to live after doctors determined her kidneys were failing. She wouldn’t make it to her daughter’s graduation in June… or, at least, she wouldn’t have if not for the school’s incredibly kind gesture.
When Principal Mike Massa and other teachers from Powhatan High School heard the news, they arranged for a very special graduation ceremony to be held in Stephanie’s hospital room.
In the midst of such heartbreak, the Bodsfords rejoiced. Stephanie got to see Abby all dressed up in her cap and gown, and her radiant smile lit up the room. She couldn’t have been more proud of her little girl, who isn’t so little anymore.
Abby shared the touching photos of her graduation on Twitter in late March, thanking the school for giving the family something to smile about as well as a memory they’ll cherish forever.
Stephanie passed away the next morning. “She was a great strong woman and every day I will strive to be half the women she was,” Abby wrote. “Rest in peace mom, I love you.”
Our hearts are with this family as they mourn the loss of such a wonderful woman. Nothing can take away their pain, but we’re so happy they got to experience such a beautiful milestone together. Rest in peace, Stephanie. You were (and are) clearly so loved. If you’d like to help the family out during this difficult time, you can make a donation to their GoFundMe page.
Share this story to honor Stephanie’s life.