2 Winter Haven seniors graduate despite the odds

Published On: Jun 04 2014 09:53:42 AM EDT

Donna Krache/CNN

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. -

Two members of Winter Haven High School's Class of 2014 fought the odds to attend their graduation ceremony.

A month before graduation, Avilmarie Rodriguez found out she had a brain tumor. Almost a month ago, Jonathan Omar Velazquez Diaz was seriously injured in a car crash. Both were greeted with standing ovations Tuesday night as they received their diplomas at Denison Stadium.

The Ledger of Lakeland reports Rodriguez recently learned her tumor was benign. She had planned to start the University of Miami in the fall, but doctors say she may need six months to recuperate.

Diaz spent three weeks in the hospital with a punctured lung and cuts all over his body. He missed prom and his JROTC ceremony. He plans to start culinary school in July.

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