PHOTOS: Preschool graduation for kids with cancer

Kristin Thorne Image
Thursday, June 11, 2015
Special graduation ceremony for young cancer patients
Kristin Thorne reports pre-schoolers walked across the stage to receive their diplomas during a moving ceremony in Hicksville.

HICKSVILLE -- A special graduation ceremony was held on Long Island Wednesday for a group of young cancer fighters.

The preschoolers walked across the stage to receive their diplomas during a very moving ceremony in Hicksville.

It was big day for the little ones, who have already experienced so much for their ages. They graduated from the Morgan Center, which is a school for kids battling cancer.

"We did my graduation," student Bradley Hirst said excitedly.

"I'm having a big party," student Justin Shatinsky said.

In addition to the kids, it's an important day for school administrators as well.

"It's very emotional for us," Morgan Center founder Nancy Zuch said. "We love these children so much, and to see them happy and smiling, to see them moving on is amazing."

Zuch started the center in 2003 after her daughter Morgan -- now 16 -- was diagnosed with leukemia.

"The Morgan Center gives the children a pre-school experience, it gives them the chance to make friends and play," she said. "It gives them a piece of their childhood that they otherwise would have lost to cancer."

And it's not just a celebration for the kids, but for the parents as well. At the Morgan Center, parents have to stay with their kids during school hours, so they develop a bond too.

"I think we met friends forever here," parent Wendy Wong said. "It gave us time to bond, and it gave us just support."

"It changed our lives having all this support and love coming from the teachers and the families," parent Mariano Ortiz said.

And with all that love and all that support, the kids are ready to take on the world.