A teen whose life nearly ended in a serious motorcycle crash finally got to mark the end of her high school experience by walking across the stage at graduation.
Allie Gilkerson was just hours away from beginning her senior year at Wayne High School in West Virginia when she was involved in a serious motorcycle crash in August 2017, according to NBC affiliate WSAZ.
The incident, which occurred in West Virginia on Route 152, left Allie with such severe injuries that doctors believed the teen was brain dead, according to the outlet.
But Allie refused to give up — and thanks to the support of her friends and family, including her sister Brittani Gilkerson, she was able to make a slow but steady recovery.
“I would tell her to fight and keep fighting because she has a lot of people waiting on her,” Brittani told WSAZ shortly after the crash happened.
In March 2018, Allie was discharged from the Pittsburgh hospital she had been receiving treatment at and was able to return home, according to WSAZ. A year and a half after the crash, Allie marked another milestone when she took her very first steps.
Then, she set her sights on graduation.
Leading up to the big day on Saturday, Allie’s mother Norma had been documenting her progress on a Facebook page she set up after the crash called, AllieStrong.
“She is ready to walk soon guys!! This mom is so emotional,” Norma wrote shortly before the ceremony at the Joan C. Edwards Football Stadium.
Finally, it was time for the big moment. With the help of an aide, Allie was able to stand up from her motorized wheelchair and walk across the stage to receive her diploma.
As she stood up and made her way across the stage, Allie was cheered on by the crowd and other school officials, who applauded, whistled for, and high-fived her.
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The heartwarming moment was also captured on video and later shared on WSAZ’s Facebook page, where dozens of users continued to congratulate Allie on her accomplishment.
“Way to go Allie Gilkerson! Keep fighting,” wrote one user, while another said, “Allie is truly amazing!”
“Congratulations sweetheart, so proud of you,” added someone else. “That’s why we should never give up. You are a strong woman. Graduate!”
According to Allie’s personal Facebook, she has continued her studies at West Virginia University.