Angleton student goes through spinal surgery and gains strength to walk at graduation

Despite all odds, Cash Dawson was determined to walk across the stage at graduation following his major surgery.

HOUSTON – Senior Cash Dawson set a goal to walk at graduation. In Cash’s case, “walk” has a different meaning than how other seniors use it to say they are graduating. For Cash, it quite literally means to walk. Cash was having some growth patterns that were causing him issues. He began having an extremely hunched-over physique. Doctors found he had a tumor in his spine. Cash had major spinal and hip replacement surgery this year where they actually replaced parts of his spine. He also began intensive physical therapy, but he was told that even with therapy he would need to walk with a walker, cane or some sort of assistance.

Cash did not let that prognosis stop him. Against the odds, he was determined to walk without any assistance or apparatuses at graduation. Through his extensive physical therapy and willpower, he has accomplished his goal and has been medically released to walk to get his diploma like his other classmates at the end of this month.

Cash also set a goal to graduate so he can go to college. He never let his circumstances stop him. To make sure he graduated on time, he enrolled in the Angleton High School PACE Academy, which allows students to work in a more flexible learning environment, helping Cash work around his medical needs. Jeanna Stallman, the advisor at PACE, really stepped in to help Cash on his academic journey this year. Cash’s mom has called her a “Godsend for Cash and his family during this critical time in Cash’s recovery and completion of high school.” She said that Mrs. Stallman would even come to the house to check in on Cash, help him as needed, and push and motivate him. She was an inspiration to him. Cash is an accomplished musician. He sings and books gigs almost every weekend and has even opened for acts at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Click here if you would like to learn more about Cash’s music and his educational journey.