Acadiana teen with cancer and cerebral palsy walks at graduation

Medical Breakthroughs

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – An Acadiana teen battling both brain cancer and cerebral palsy isn’t letting his physical limitations stop him from achieving his dreams.

19-year-old Brice Elwell did the unthinkable. He stood up and walked across the graduation stage.

“I worked as hard as I could for as long as I could to make that goal happen,” Elwell said.

It’s been a dream in the work for three years, with Brice training to walk at physical therapy.

“It’s always been my dream to walk. About three years ago I came up with this idea that I wanted to walk across the stage,” Elwell said.

Doctors diagnosed Brice with cerebral palsy at around one years old – making walking and fine motor skills pretty difficult. He was also diagnosed with a brain tumor at two years old leaving him with limited vision. He’s undergone radiation, chemotherapy and four craniotomies.

“At times it’s hard but I always say that God put me on this earth for a reason, whether it’s to touch other people or just to make the world a little bit brighter,” Elwell said.

Brice’s walk across the stage wasn’t just a big accomplishment for him, but a big surprise for his family. He says he hopes to inspire others to reach their goals no matter how big.

“Never give up. Never, ever give up on your dreams. Eventually, no matter how hard you have to work, you can reach it if you put hard work and dedication into it,” Elwell said.

Brice graduated Summa Cum Laude from University View Academy’s home school program. He says he will take a year off of school to decide what he wants to do before enrolling in college.

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