Father, hospitalized with cancer, still gets to see son graduate

Technology from Mayo Clinic ensured he wouldn't miss a moment

By Joy Purdy - 5:30, 6:30 & 11 p.m. anchor

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A Jacksonville father who is fighting colon cancer couldn't make it to his son's high school graduation in person, however, he didn't miss a single moment thanks to modern technology.

Knowlton Anderson graduated valedictorian of his class at Douglas Anderson High School. Due to complications with surgery, his father, Dan Anderson, had to stay in the hospital and miss his son's big day.

"He (Dan) supported me through my whole entire life," Knowlton Anderson said. "I know he wanted to be there as much as I wanted to be there."

The physicians at Mayo Clinic told the Andersons they could use the hospital's special television developed for doctors. It's typically used so doctors can examine patients without being in the same room.

Dan Anderson used the technology to watch his son's graduation speech live from his hospital room.

"The I.T. department was due to leave for the day, and so they started brainstorming as a team, and they ended up staying until 10 o'clock at night making sure the entire graduation streamed perfectly," said Leslie Anderson, Dan Anderson's wife and Knowlton Anderson's mother.

Knowlton Anderson was given the great news that his dad saw the whole thing.

"I kind of got up on stage and thought, I wish he (Dan) was here right now, I wish he could see this, and I know he'd be so proud of me," Knowlton Anderson said. "Afterwards, I realized that he was there in spirit at Mayo seeing it, so it was a good feeling for sure."

Knowlton Anderson is going to the University of Florida in the fall, majoring in advertising.

Dan Anderson is now cancer-free.

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