Kelli Konopczyk wants to see her two children graduate from high school (as every mother does). Sadly, she may never have the chance.
Kelli was diagnosed with cancer in October 2010 at age 35. She battled cancer alongside her sister, who was diagnosed six months after her. Kelli's cancer went into remission, but her sister continued to fight for 18 long months until she passed away.
Shortly after her sister's death in 2012, Kelli's cancer returned, and this time, it was terminal.
After years of treatments, she now knows her time is running out.
"It could be a matter of weeks," she said. "So we're just getting through one day at a time right now."
Her husband, David Konopczyk, knew Kelli wanted to see her son Brennan's fifth grade graduation, and he was determined to make her wish come true.
David wanted his dying wife to see their son cross the stage and receive his diploma, but it didn't go quite as planned
He called the school's Parent Teacher Association (PTA) president to see if they could hold a small graduation ceremony early. He thought it would be a simple ceremony where Brennan would walk across the stage and receive his diploma, but the PTA made it more extravagant than he expected.
Principal Tol Wilhite and other community members planned a graduation ceremony in one week. They decorated the school library with balloons, printed programs and ordered a cake.
David created a convincing cover-up story, telling Kelli that Principal Wilhite called and needed them at the school in an hour.
"I thought, 'Oh no, what did Brennan do,'" she told reporters.
When she arrived at the elementary school, Kelli was so touched, she didn't think she could make it through the ceremony.
Brennan saw his mother start to cry, and he admitted he almost got emotional.
Brennan graduated with four of his best friends, who have been by his side since Kindergarten. They call themselves "the BFFFF's." Pictures of their fun memories together were showcased as they each walked across the stage to receive their diplomas.
Brennan's friends were happy to be by his side so his mother could see him graduate.
"It was especially special because it felt good to be there with Brennan and help him out," one of his friends, Quinn Bramwell, said.
Brennan was touched by his friends' overwhelming support.
"I couldn't ask for any better friends," he said.
Even though the ceremony was small, no details were left out. There were speeches and the whole program felt just like a real graduation.
"It was just so well done … with so much love," Kelli said.
The ceremony is another act of kindness the Deer Creek community has shown Kelli throughout her cancer battle. People have brought her family meals, mowed the family's lawn and taken Kelli's children out to events over the years.
"They say it takes a village," Kelli said. "I just love my village here."
Kelli is sharing her battle with cancer and pleads for others to become involved in finding a cure.
You can take part by donating the the American Cancer Society, participating in fundraisers or volunteering at care centers or hospitals.