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Sunday
Mar122017

High school hosts early graduation for student with ailing father

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A North Carolina teen's dream came true to have his father see him graduate, thanks to a special surprise from his high school.

On Feb. 27, Cameron Brown, 18, walked early in his cap and gown so his terminally ill dad, Brian Brown, could experience the moment.

"Over the years me and my dad have grown to be very, very close -- pretty much best friends," Cameron Brown told ABC News Tuesday. "I look at him as my Superman, so seeing him there to see me graduate meant everything for me. He really tried to make sure that I know that he's proud of me because that's something I've always worked for.

Brian Brown, 43, of Albemarle, North Carolina, was diagnosed with nonalcoholic cirrhosis of the liver in 2011. Two years later, Brian Brown fell off a ladder while helping a neighbor after a storm. The accident left him paralyzed.

Cameron Brown's mother, Wendy Brown, told ABC News that doctors say her husband does not have long to live.

Kim Page, the principal of West Stanly High School, said she and her colleagues put together a mock ceremony so Brian Brown could see his son graduate early. The family thought they were attending a graduation practice, she said.

"My secretary said, 'We've got the caps and gowns, let's do something for him,'" Page told ABC News. "Within less than 24 hours, we put together the program."

Hundreds attended the assembly in the school auditorium, where Cameron Brown's name was announced on stage.

"It was wonderful," said mom Wendy Brown. "Just to see how proud he was, was the biggest thing. Him and his daddy are very close."

Cameron Brown is the quarterback of his high school football team. In the fall, he will be attending Averett University in Danville, Virginia, and will play college football.

Brian Brown died early Wednesday morning, Cameron Brown confirmed to ABC News.

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