Nathaniel Beale’s ten-year-old son, Noah, took his place at his University of Oklahoma graduation on Saturday.
Nathaniel Beale was diagnosed with leukemia in July but completed his degree during treatment. Unfortunately, he was physically unable to attend the graduation celebration of his hard-won academic victory due to an upcoming surgery.
In his place, ten-year-old Noah Beale stepped up to support his father by taking his place at the graduation ceremony. Beale watched a livestream of his son accepting the diploma.
Leukemia affects roughly 1.6 percent of men and women, with 414,773 suffering from the deadly blood cancer in the United States. 61,780 new cases have been reported, and 22,840 have died in 2019 alone. As described by the National Cancer Institute:
Leukemia is cancer that starts in the tissue that forms blood. Most blood cells develop from cells in the bone marrow called stem cells. In a person with leukemia, the bone marrow makes abnormal white blood cells. The abnormal cells are leukemia cells. Unlike normal blood cells, leukemia cells don’t die when they should. They may crowd out normal white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. This makes it hard for normal blood cells to do their work.
While there is no cure, over 62 percent of patients survive five or more years after diagnosis. With the support of his son and family, Beale’s fight for life continues.