Dartmouth student wins fight to walk with classmates
DARTMOUTH, Mass. —
A Dartmouth teenager battling a rare disease won a battle with her school.
Ashlyn Conde said Friday morning that she had been told she wouldn't get to walk across the stage during Dartmouth High School's graduation this weekend.
She begged her principal not to leave her out of this once-in-a-lifetime moment.
"I'm not asking for my diploma, yet. I'm just asking to walk with my class," Ashlyn said.
Ashlyn has a rare disease that caused her to miss nearly all of spring semester and doesn't have the credits to graduate.
"I was in the hospital because I was diagnosed with Stevens-Johnson syndrome," Ashlyn said.
Stevens-Johnson syndrome prevents the body from digesting certain drugs. Ashlyn didn't know she had it until two Motrin nearly killed her.
"She literally died. She was on life support. She came back. She's a miracle. She deserves to walk more than anybody in that class," said Alyssa Medeiros, Ashlyn's cousin.
Ashlyn is expected to finish the classes needed to graduate later this summer, so when her classmates heard the school wouldn't let her walk across the stage, they were outraged.
"Everybody is saying, 'If Ashlyn doesn't walk, we won't walk,'" Ashlyn said.
Her friends started a hashtag campaign demanding the school let Ashlyn walk.
During her health battle, she had her family. This time, she had a student army. They were wallpapering the hallways and wearing T-shirts. Kids with the T-shirts were told to change, and the signs were taken down.
But by noon Friday they won.
The superintendent called NBC 10 personally to say Ashlyn will walk with her class on Sunday.