Graduating after four (or more) years of hustling in college is indeed a milestone worth celebrating, but unfortunately, not all students get the chance to march during the graduation rites for different reasons. In Maria Julpha Villa's case, she found out she has a rare disease months before her graduation.
Maria Julpha or Maya to her family and friends, was a graduating student at Rizal Technological University (RTU) in Mandaluyong City where she was a full scholar studying a Physical Education course and a student athlete who has won medals in arnis. But because she was diagnosed with stage 4 acute mylogenous leukemia or cancer in the blood, she had to be treated in a hospital in Cagayan de Oro City and couldn't finish her practice teaching requirement, more so, attend the commencement exercises.
To her surprise, the school officials of RTU flew in to Cagayan de Oro and, with the help of the hospital's nurses and staff, prepared a special and advanced graduation ceremony for her and her family.
"Sobrang thankful ako na kahit may ganito akong sakit, di ako makapaniwala na nandito yung mga taong nagmamahal sa akin. Akala ko wala silang care sa akin pero nakita ko yung pagmamahal nila sobra."
Watch the clip below to know more about Maya's story.