Family accepts degree on behalf of woman who died before graduat - Greenville, NC | News | Weather | Sports - WNCT.com

Family accepts degree on behalf of woman who died before graduation day

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Graduation is a milestone that many aspire to, but one Tammie King never got to see.

She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005 and recovered after having a mastectomy.

But eight years later, she was diagnosed with lung cancer, followed by a brain tumor.

"They removed the brain tumor, and that's when I noticed she wasn't really doing too well with it,"  Tammie's husband Willie King said.

But through it all, King says his wife was on a mission to earn her degree in medical assisting from Miller Motte Technical College.

"No matter how sick she got, she was determined to do it, and she was going to do it."

Her instructors, like Penny Harrison, took notice of Tammie's perseverance.

Even when she was undergoing chemotherapy, she never missed a class.

"She was devoted, always had a smile on her face no matter what she was going through in her life, which she was going through quite a bit,"  Harrison said.

Tammie passed away on January 12, but not before finishing all of her classes.

"I always tell her she's my hero, and so she really is my hero,"  Willie said.

Friday night, he and their two children accepted Tammie's diploma on her behalf.

"I'm happy, and then I feel kind of sad because she's not here to accept her own award," he said.

But even though she's gone, her family is so proud of the legacy and example she left behind.

"She went through all this, and she never stopped,"  She just kept right on going until the end, and that's what I loved about her."

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