Mom’s dying wish to see daughter graduate high school granted in hospital room

WASHINGTONVILLE, N.Y. — It was Elizabeth De Leon’s dying wish to see her daughter Cassidy graduate from high school.

The single mother had been battling colon cancer for over three years. Last Friday, she was admitted to Vassar Brothers Medical Center in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

“I told her ‘hold on a little bit more, I have a huge surprise for you,'" said Richard Pagan, De Leon's son.

Cassidy’s graduation wasn’t scheduled until June 21, but Pagan called Washingtonville High School’s principal Brian Connolly. On Monday, a special ceremony was held at the hospital.

"Mr. Connolly came with the cap and gown," said Pagan. "The whole family and friends were in the room, and I walked my sister inside the room. And after the ceremony I told my mom, 'its okay for you to go home. It's okay, we'll be okay."

De Leon died early Tuesday morning. In addition to her two children, she is survived by her parents and her two young grandchildren.

"My mom would always put people before her," said Pagan. "She would always go out of her way to help people in need."

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family. Cassidy plans to go to SUNY Orange next year, the same college Pagan currently attends.