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Graduation for our Hero Reese Burdette

Reese’s mother, Claire, Shares the great news with us:

Triumph! We have had many celebrations over the last 4 years, and much cause for celebration. Each celebration seems more special than the last. For me, as a mom, this one symbolizes so much. Reese will be graduating from the 5th grade tonight. A feat we weren’t even sure was possible at one time. She is growing up and becoming more independent just like the rest of her classmates. Some may wonder why this is so meaningful for me…for me, this symbolizes triumph, determination and blessings from God. When the accident happened 4 years ago, Reese had one more week left in the 1st grade. I told myself and many others that my goal (as she lay in an induced coma not even knowing if she was in there) that I wanted to keep her with her classmates, her friends, her familiar faces – her people. Reese may have suffered the injury but her friends suffered the heartache and the not knowing which is the worst. They didn’t know if they would see their friend again. Those same friends drove hundreds of miles over the next 662 days to spend time with Reese, bring her gifts, play games, attend parties but mostly they brought her laughter and that special feeling of friendship that all humans need. When Reese made her journey home, those same friends rallied around her to support her and let her know she wasn’t alone. I knew in my heart in those early days that Reese needed to be pushed hard in order to stay with her classmates and it was seldom easy – but I have never once regretted that goal and promise I made to myself and to Reese. It would have been much easier to say Reese was too sick to do school every day but we pushed through with grit and determination. With the help of two lovely ladies in Baltimore they came each day to tutor her, the awesome addition of Double and much patience of the wonderful teachers and staff at Mercersburg Elementary we are here today – graduation cap and all. Our journey does not end here, but surely consider this a special and momentous day. Many thanks to every single person who has helped us along the way – there have been many and there will be more. For today, know that this mom is beaming with pride and gratitude. Much love to you all and Happy 5th Grade Graduation Reese and classmates.


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