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A teenager battling cancer, who inspired the Golden State Warriors, achieved yet another victory.

WPVI-TV reports that Darryl Aikens graduated from McClymonds High School in Oakland on June 9. The road to graduation was fraught with aggressive treatments and medical procedures, as Aikens is living with Leukemia.

Before his illness, Aikens played football for the McClymonds High Warriors. His membership on the team shaped his approach to living with Leukemia. No matter how dire the prognosis, Aikens continued to set goals and celebrate small victories.

One such victory was meeting Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and other members of the Golden State Warriors, who felt inspired by Aikens’ tenacity. Last December, the Make a Wish foundation arranged for Aikens to attend a Warriors practice.

“This is my first time,” Aikens told KGI-TV. “For me to live in Oakland 19 years and this is my first time being up here. Knowing that it’s up here, but never being invited to come up here.”

After fulfilling that dream, Aikens was fearful that he wouldn’t reach another milestone on the horizon: high school graduation.

In a visit to the oncologist, his family received the grim prognosis that the cancer had returned, and he had only months to live.

Aikens’ fears could have discouraged him from pushing forward with life. Moreover, weakened by cancer treatments, he’d missed a lot of school in the past few months. But shored up by family and friends, he completed the requirements for graduation and walked across the stage.

His classmates, teachers and family celebrated his triumph. Days later, Aikens saw yet another dream come true when his favorite team won the NBA title.



High School Student Graduates While Fighting Leukemia was originally published on

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