18-year-old Adam Wright sat up straight and smiled, his navy blue graduation robe flowing down the sides of his wheelchair. As they entered the cafeteria of Rogers High School in Rogers, Arkansas, Wright and his family were greeted with a wave of love and celebration.
Inside, the walls of the school cafeteria were decorated with photos of the Wright family. On folding tables, Adam’s favorite foods were laid out — he loves junk food and fruit punch.
It was a moment made up equally of joy and sorrow. Adam is graduating high school, and Adam has terminal bone cancer.
WATCH as Adam Wright is wheeled in to his graduation ceremony.
— Chelsea Helms (@ChelseaHelms1) November 19, 2021
Cancer has cast a long shadow over the Wright family — when he was just four years old, Adam battled soft tissue cancer. It was two years until he was cancer-free. Just over ten years later, his twin brother, Tim, was diagnosed with a rare blood cell cancer that claimed him three weeks later.
At age 17, Adam had one week to mourn his twin before he developed his own symptoms. “I felt like I was in a nightmare. It was a nightmare,” explained Adam and Tim’s mother, Tammie, in an interview with KNWA.
The graduation ceremony is just one way that his school and community are gathering together to celebrate the resiliency of his life, and the milestones he deserves to pass.
Adam also documents his cancer treatments in vlogs, and hopes to leave a legacy that will make his family proud after he’s gone.
“I want people to see me fighting this battle, this really really really hard battle, and I want them to see that they can do it too and that they have people supporting them and resources supporting them, too,” Adam told KNWA. “All I want to do is make my brother proud and leave a legacy behind that actually mattered.”
Since the graduation ceremony, Adam has entered hospice and his condition has continued to decline. He is participating in experimental trials, hoping that his pain and experience can benefit future cancer patients.