NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - At graduation time, inspiring stories can be found at most any high school or university.
East Texas News followed up on one from Stephen F. Austin State University.
In 2016, we reported on Gordon Reynolds' survival of a rare form of cerebral palsy.
The 23-year-old relied tremendously on a wheelchair for mobility. He still does, but not quite so much in the last year.
For Reynolds, the mark of achievement is walking. He practiced it today with an SFA graduation coordinator.
"I want to walk across the stage and come back to my wheelchair," Reynolds said.
The graduation coordinator replied, "OK. We can do that, and your dean will hand you the diploma."
Reynolds will pick up a degree in accounting. It's pretty a big deal, but it wasn't Gordon's primary goal when he entered college 4 1/2 years ago. The young man who woke up one morning at the age of 18 unable to move had something else in mind.
"Really focus on the walking again," Reynolds said. "Talking how I used to. Being mobile. That was my goal. School? School was there, but I mostly focused on my physical wellbeing."
His freshman year, Reynolds shared his dream of walking with Hunter Boyd, a kinesiology.
"I told him, 'I'm going to walk again," Reynolds said. "he said, 'OK. Let's get started, so we got started."
Every step along the way, the two friends never let cerebral palsy keep them from reaching their goal.
"When Gordon sets a goal we dominate it, we don't just barely meet it or almost make it, no we dominate it," Boyd said.
Speaking about the coliseum, Reynolds said, "Every day, I would come in here every morning, knowing that this would be what I was going to do on graduation day."
Soon that dream will become a reality.
"No dream is impossible," Reynolds said. "You just got to go for it."
Reynold's next goal is to develop a non-profit to teach people released from prison financial planning, so they can achieve a productive life.
Reynolds' friend, Hunter Boyd is also graduating tomorrow. He's planning to open a health gym in the Dallas area.