Genetic disease doesn't stop teen from graduating with twin sister

Victor Guerra lives with SMA and almost didn't make his graduation ceremony

FRESNO, Calif. -

One high school senior didn't let his genetic disease stop him from going to his graduation ceremony. Victor Guerra has been battling Spinal Muscular Atrophy all his life. His family found out last week that Victor wouldn't be healthy enough to cross the stage.

Victor's family is so grateful for Valley Children's Healthcare. Grateful for nurses, doctors and the transport team that brought him to Save Mart Center Tuesday night so Victor could accept his diploma with his twin sister right next to him.

Milestone after milestone, Victor and Felicia Guerra have shared each one together. From their day of birth to graduating high school. But this very moment almost never happened.

Born with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Victor's muscle movement is limited. He also lives with scoliosis and asthma. Victor says he's been in and out of the hospital and got very sick during the last week of school.

"Out of all those times, this was actually the first that I was actually scared," said Victor.

But the senior didn't quit. Motivated to cross the stage with his twin sister he calls his other half. Victor says she told him to keep fighting.

"Stay strong, don't give up. She's there. She's there through everything," said Victor.

"He's one minute older than me. He acts like he's years but that's my big brother. We're always there for one another and I'm really happy for that," said Felicia.

A team effort by Valley Children's made it possible for Victor to be apart of Sunnyside High School's graduation ceremony. An ambulance drove Victor and his sister to Save Mart Center for the ceremony.

"Very proud of this special moment today. They had my son attend graduation at Sunnyside High School cause for a moment there we didn't think he was going to make this graduation," said Victor's mother, Mona Esparza.

But despite obstacle after obstacle, Victor Guerra did make his graduation ceremony.

"A dream, guess you can say. Walking with my sister for graduation," said Victor.

Victor will be going to Fresno CIty College this Fall. He wants to study business, medicine or psychology.


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