Most 18-year-olds struggle to complete the work needed to earn their coveted high school diploma once senioritis sets in, but passing a few tests and showing up for class barely compares with what one Cardinal Glennon patient recently accomplished.
Although she is currently undergoing chemotherapy for a brain tumor, Brittany Stoulp has shown unmatched strength, graduating from Bayless High School June 6 surrounded by classmates and family.
“It was great,” she said later. “I liked it a lot, seeing all my friends.”
Brittany was referred to the Footprints program at Glennon in mid-May. At their first care conference, her parents, Donna and Greg Stoulp, said one of Brittany’s biggest goals would be to attend her graduation.
“The care conference got everyone sitting together in one room, to talk and coordinate care for Brittany,” said Sr. Judy Carron, care coordinator and chaplain. “Everyone worked toward a plan to get her to graduation, and I just think it was a dream come true, and a wonderful way to see the Glennon team mobilize.”
With only a few weeks to reach their goal, a team of physicians, physical and occupational therapists, social workers, respiratory therapists, nurses, and Footprints staff all set to work getting Brittany well, and by June 6, Brittany was strong enough to get out of bed and attend her commencement, accompanied by transport nurse Dana Rolland.
“Britney is their interest and they’ve always tried to do what’s best for her, so that’s what the goal was,” Donna Stoulp said. “Sr. Judy said ‘She’s going, and we’re going to get her there.’ And she did.”
The end result, she said, was nothing short of “awesome.”
“Brittany needed three credits her senior year to graduate, and had to do it all through tutoring at the hospital and at home,” Donna Stoulp said. “So the whole thing, just seeing her there, was very awesome.”
Brittany plans to study journalism in college.