CBC wheelchair-bound graduate to walk across stage with help of Pasco Police officers
PASCO, Wash. — Casey Kasselder has been fighting the affects of Friedreich’s Ataxia her whole life. The disease is a form of muscular dystrophy, causing her to progressively lose control of her muscle function.
As a child she was told she wouldn’t live past her high school graduation.
On Friday, she will walk across the stage at Columbia Basin College with the help of three Pasco Police officers.
“It’s a big deal considering that I’ve been in a wheelchair since the 8th grade,” said Kasselder.
She approached Officers Adam Brewster, Raymond Aparicio and Trevor Sweeney with the idea about six months ago. She has seen them as mentors over the last few years.
“They’ve always gone above and beyond to help me. But I think it’s their hearts and their dedication to what they do for the community in front of them that made me choose these guys,” said Kasselder.
She met Trevor Sweeney while the two of them were volunteering at Rascal Rodeo, a non-profit that hosts rodeo events for people with special needs.
“It’s just humbling. You see other people in the community that help brighten people’s day and if we could help her brighten her day a little bit then why wouldn’t we. It’s an honor,” said Sweeney.
The officers will help Kasselder walk the 40 feet across the stage. They have been practicing and learning the best ways to stabilize her as she walks.
Kasselder will graduate with an A.A. degree and an A.A.S. degree in criminal justice.