17-year-old cancer patient passes away after receiving high school diploma
UPDATE: Jerome's family tells WBRZ that he has passed away as of 1 p.m. Sunday afternoon. Those wishing to assist Jerome's family with medical expenses can donate by following the link at the bottom of this story.
BATON ROUGE - During a special ceremony this past week, Jerome Singleton received his diploma while surrounded by family, friends, faculty, and nurses.
Every one present had been by the 17-year-old's side during his battle with an aggressive form of cancer known as Rhabdomyosarcoma, or RMS. His family says receiving his diploma was his dying wish.
Scotlandville High School granted Jerome an early diploma after his family told the school he wouldn't make it to his graduation ceremony just days away.
"Once we got toward the end, when he got real weak, we did a lot of talking," said Jerome Cockran, the boy's father. "All he talked about was wanting to graduate."
Jerome was first diagnosed in March 2016 and spent the past year traveling between Baton Rouge and Memphis for a total of 47 chemotherapy treatments. The treatments seemed to be working until about six weeks ago, when the family received devastating news.
"They told him that medically there was nothing else they could do, that hospice was available," Jerome's stepmother, Makish Cockran said. "They told him he could still do chemo, but he would always have cancer and that's something no 17-year-old wants to hear."
Jerome, referred to by family as an 'old soul', made the decision on his own to stop chemo and move into hospice care at home. His father says he's at peace knowing his son achieved the goal he's had since he was a little boy.
"The closer you are to your kids, the more you can accept the bad things if they get worse," Jerome's father said. "Because you know that you did everything you could for them, and you won't have any regrets."
If you wish to help Jerome's family, you can visit Jerome's Go Fund Me page by clicking HERE.
It breaks my heart to let you know-Jerome Singleton passed away at 1 p.m. this afternoon, holding his sister's hand. https://t.co/5RrrhfllRW— Taylor Evans WBRZ (@taylorevansnews) May 21, 2017