JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - After 18 years spent raising her son, Jennifer Long never thought she'd see him walk aross the stage at his high school graduation.
At a young age, Jericho Burroughs was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. "Graduating with a real diploma has been a major accomplishment for him, especially for kids in his condition," his mother told News4Jax. As a child, Burroughs was able to walk, but only for a few months.
Since then, Long says her son has gone into the operating room for 18 major surgeries. Even with doctors telling him he isn't in full control of his muscles, Burroughs has proven them wrong every step of the way.
"At one point we were homeless and he told me that's what gave him his drive," Long said. "We lost everything and it motivated him and his brothers to make sure I was proud of him. He told me he would make an impact his senior and he did."
Not only was he an adaptive track and field state champion, he was also named prom king at Ed White High School. And he still managed to pull off a surprise no one, including his mother, saw coming.
In front of thousands, Burroughs stood up from his wheel chair, and walked across the stage to receive his high school diploma -- a gift his mother will cherish to forever.
"He told me I would be surprised at graduation, but I was thinking he was going to sing like the baccalaureate service," Long said. "He told me at the beginning of the year he was going to walk the stage like everyone else and thanks to the staff and principal at Ed White he did just that."
Burroughs now has his sights set on a new adventure. He will be attending Florida State College of Jacksonville this fall.
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