Lynzee Ford, a senior at Kilgore High School in Texas, was diagnosed with leukemia earlier this year, and although she underwent several treatments, doctors recently told the teen that she had only four months to live.
"Well, I didn't take it too hard, I didn't want to stress myself out, so I decided to take it in and work with it," Lynzee told KLTV in a Sept. 26 interview.
Her family and friends didn't want the diagnosis to darken her days, so they sprang into action. In May, while Lynzee was recovering from treatment in a Dallas hospital, they all took a trip to visit and to stage a junior prom. School staff, friends and family decided that Lynzee shouldn't miss graduation, either, so they moved the date up a few months early and held a special ceremony, just for Lynzee, where the teen received her diploma.
Last Monday, Kilgore's gym was filled with Lynzee's classmates, teachers, and even first responders and the mayor of her town to share the moment with Lynzee, according to KETK.
"Graduation is a rite of passage for every high school student. Just like prom, your first date, riding your bicycle," Lyznee's mother, Valerie Warren, told KETK. "I didn't want Lynzee to miss out on anything."
On Thursday night, the teen who took the city of Kilgore by storm with her "never give up" attitude lost her fight against cancer, just a few days after she donned her cap and gown.
"Most courageous 17-year-old kid I ever met in my life," Kilgore Police Sgt. Vance Callahan told the news station. "Now it's not just community; we're all family."
Lynzee's friends had begun planning a winter formal for the teen, which was to have been held in November.
"The kids, they loved her and she loved them. She was the epitome of courage, strength; she loved life," a relative, Alice Hunt, told KLTV. "God, this hurts! This is killing me, but I know she's in a better place."