Mother Gets Dying Wish

Every parent wants to see their son or daughter get their diploma.

For Denise Szafran, her dying wish was just that. Denise was diagnosed with terminal cancer last summer.

"My smart remark I made was I have to hang over long enough to see my daughter walk across the stage next May," said Denise Szafran.

Denise's daughter, Christine, is close to graduating with her Master's Degree in education from Buffalo State College, but both mom and daughter realized Denise would probably not live to see her graduate.

A surprise early commencement ceremony was planned at the Wilmot Cancer Center.

"They finally told me yesterday and I think I have been smiling ever since. This is wonderful. This is a real gift for me. I appreciate it," said Denise.

"She said that this was her one wish and to be able to give that to her...800 things went through my head all at the same time when I found out we could do this," said Christine Szafran.

The Dean of the School of Education at Buffalo State College and staff members at the cancer center helped Christine make her mom's wish come true.

"My mother's heart spoke to her mother's heart. I wish I could see her again in May and we wish for larger miracles but a smaller one was pretty easy to do today," said Dr. Wendy Paterson, Dean of the School of Education at Buffalo State College.

"They did a good job. They did a very good job, so no matter what the time length is now, I've seen my daughter graduate," said Denise.

When Christine officially graduates in May, she hopes to become a high school math teacher.

Denise has another daughter who also received a Master's Degree. She works for NASA.

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