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Daughter Graduates at Her Ailing Mother’s Bedside

MODESTO -- It’s not the high school graduation ceremony Destiny Ewing dreamed of, but inside the Memorial Medical Center in Modesto there’s no place she’d rather be than right by her mom’s bedside.

“People have helped along the way and I appreciate that, but in the end was just the two of us,” Ewing said.

Michelle Ortiz has been diagnosed with sarcoidosis, a disease that heavily damages vital organs. Recently, she has been too sick to leave her hospital bed but she had always hoped to watch her daughter graduate.

“It was amazing, she looked so beautiful and I’m the proudest mom right now,” Ortiz said through the help of a family member.

Thanks to nurses and staff, Ortiz’s hospital room was transformed into a stage.

Unable to speak, Ortiz wrote down just how proud she is of her daughter.

“To continue to be strong, honest and faithful," Ortiz wrote. "I totally am behind any choices you make and live life to the fullest. Your mom.”

Ewing said it’s been a challenging road but she’s glad that she shared this day with family, friends and the one person who has always been there for her -- her mother.

“I gave up a lot, so much, and I would give up everything and I pretty much have,” Ewing said.