Battling cerebral palsy, Huntersville teen graduates from high school

Posted June 24, 2020 6:15 a.m. EDT
Updated June 24, 2020 3:01 p.m. EDT

— With his diploma from Hough High School in hand, Trent Hill is ready to tackle more challenges. His achievement is all the more admirable given the condition he was born with — cerebral palsy.

Due to COVID-19 precautions, a traditional high school graduation with his classmates was not possible — but after receiving his diploma in a parking lot ceremony with social distancing, Hill shouted out how proud he was of his achievement and that of his classmates.

In a video released by Easterseals UCP, Hill held his diploma in hand and shouted, "The Class of 2020 rocks!"

Trent Hil

Graduation was a dream come true for Hill and his family.

"He’s overcome a lot, but he has a lot of determination," said Hill’s father, Leroy.

Cerebral palsy involves a group of permanent movement disorders that vary from person to person. With the help of donations, Easterseals UCP has made at-home and in-school assistance possible as Hill grew up.

His own drive to achieve did the rest. "I’ve graduated high school with a 2.0 GPA, and I’m so happy," declared Hill.

Hill has overcome difficult challenges that most people take for granted.

"Being able to roll over and sit myself up and get myself in the chair and successfully dress and undress myself," said Hill, were major steps forward. He also receives exercise therapy that he hopes will enable him to walk one day.

Hill said he can’t wait for a big reunion with his friends and teachers after all the encouragement they’ve offered him and his family.

"You know, even when I think about it, I’ll tear up now and then just thinking about it," said Leroy Hill.

Hill said he always looked forward to theater class. It helped him develop more ability and confidence as a speaker, which can become very difficult for many people with cerebral palsy.

Hill said his speech improvement may one day help him achieve another big life goal as a church pastor.

"I just want to share the love of Christ all around the world," he said, adding that he believes his life so far is proof that nothing is impossible. "You can do anything that you put your mind to."

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