Three Rivers schools help grant dying grandfather's final wish

Three Rivers schools help grant dying grandfather's final wish. (Matt Loughrin WWMT)

A dying grandfather will get to see his granddaughter graduate thanks to the teachers and administrators at Three Rivers High School who came together to help grant his last wish.

Newschannel 3's Anna Giles was there as Shania Shirk, 17, her family and Three Rivers High School Principal Carrie Balk put together a special version of graduation.

Shirk is known for her big heart. Her grandfather is suffering from stage-4 cancer and she worried he might not make it for her real graduation in June and took matters into her own hands.

Balk said, "It is my honor to celebrate with you the achievements of Shania Shirk."

A successful "graduation to go" meant the world to Shirks' grandfather, who is suffering from stage-4 cancer and unable to leave his home.

Shirk said, "My family came up to me and was like, ‘he's not doing so good so we should do it now so let’s just get it done for him.’"

It was her grandfather’s dying wish. Shirk decided she had to make it happen and sought the help Balk

Balk said, "I was more nervous for this than I am for the ceremony in June where there's thousands of people just because I know it's so important to the family."

Balk included Shirks' teachers asking them for kind comments to read in front of her grandfather for his special at-home ceremony.

Balk said, "I had the pleasure of having Shania as a sophomore, she was always such a pleasant student dedicated to helping others."

Especially a man she describes as a good person.

Shirk said, "It's one of the things he wanted so I just wanted to make it happen."

Circumstances that Shirk has made work.

Balk said, "We have a positive school climate at the high school and resilience is one of the things we frequently talk about and Shania is an example of students who are resilient who live in circumstances that are challenging."

Shirk says she is unsure of her future plans but ready to finish high school and walk across the stage for real this June.

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