(CNN) — His son’s high school graduation was a day Alfred La’Cap had been looking forward to — and one he didn’t think he would get to see.
La’Cap, 69, has terminal prostate cancer with a dire prognosis: He’s unlikely to make it to May.
So administrators at Long Beach High School in Mississippi stepped in and held a graduation ceremony three months early.
“Considering the circumstances, I felt like if we can bring a little joy to a family, then we’re happy to do that,” Principal Larry Ramsey told CNN affiliate WLOX.
The ceremony, held over the weekend in the family driveway, was a small, bittersweet one.
La’Cap’s son, Noah, was dressed in a red cap and gown and sat next to his father. Someone played “Pomp and Circumstance” on a cellphone. Family members dabbed their eyes.
When the time came, Noah La’Cap tossed his mortar board and then placed it on his dad’s lap.
He told the station the family has come to terms with their difficult reality. He has accepted his father won’t be around to see him graduate college, start his first job, get married.
“There’s been times where I couldn’t focus on school because I was thinking about him all the time, but I persevered because I’m supposed to graduate for him,” Noah La’Cap said.
And he did.