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Princeton High student with rare genetic disease walks across stage to receive diploma

Derek DiGregorio received a standing ovation on Wednesday night as he walked across the stage to receive his diploma at Princeton High School’s graduation ceremony.

DiGregorio has a rare genetic disease called Ataxia Telangiectasia, which affects about three on one million people. The disease makes normal day-to-day life difficult, and Derek has been unable to walk in recent years. But with the help of an exoskeleton he was able to borrow for the occasion and some practice, he crossed the stage with his brother Aaron, and raised one arm high as the crowd roared.

“No words can express our love and gratitude to those who made this happen,” said his dad, Steve DiGregorio,  in a Facebook post. “Watching Aaron help Derek get his diploma is just overwhelming.”

 

Krystal Knapp

Krystal Knapp is the founding editor of Planet Princeton. She can be reached via email at editor AT planetprinceton.com. Send all letters to the editor and press releases to that email address.

  • Lynda

    Way to go, Derek! Wish I’d been there to see. Congratulations to you and your whole family with love and best wishes!

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