Hospital surprises Denton teen battling leukemia with graduation ceremony

A Denton high school student in the middle of a battle with leukemia got a special surprise from staff at the Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth.

When the team at Texas Health heard that 19-year-old Kaley Banuelos would not be able to attend her graduation due to her chemo treatment, they started planning a surprise graduation of their own.

Banuelos' senior year at Denton Ryan High School was disrupted when she was diagnosed with leukemia about a month ago.

"I was not expecting to end senior year this way," she said. 

Banuelos said she was looking forward to graduating with all of her friends.

"I was really bummed. It's a huge milestone for our family," she said.

After some planning, the staff took Banuelos from her hospital room to the hallway, where she got her own red graduation cap and gown.

Kalye Banuelos (Source: Texas Health)

"I was so confused. By the time I processed what was happening I was already zipping up the gown," she said.

Pomp and Circumstance played while team members at Texas Health cheered on a surprised Banuelos.

Source: Texas Health

She eventually made her way to a room filled with cupcakes and gifts.

"I was like, don't cry, Kaley! Honestly, I felt so loved. I never experienced anything like that. I felt so much love and strength. I was like, I'm going to get through this. I got this!" said Baneulos.

"What they did for her, it was very special and I can't thank them enough," said Brandi Corcoran, Kaley's mother.

Banuelos' school offered to let her officially graduate early and her senior picture was displayed at the school's ceremony.

Kaley plans to take a gap year to give her time to reach remission. Then she plans to enroll in college and study to become a therapist for children.