Memorial Sloan Kettering holds annual Pediatric Convocation virtually
The Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center held its annual Pediatric Convocation virtually Thursday due to the pandemic.
Trumbull senior Sona Kocinsky and her classmates aren't from the same school or even the same state. They have something else in common - strength and resilience.
The teens are all current or former pediatric cancer patients now celebrating a major milestone - one that wasn't a given they'd see.
"It just seemed so far in the future. I couldn't imagine being here today so it is a little emotional for me," says Sona Kocinsky.
"To be at this point, which sort of is where we'd hoped she'd be if she didn't have cancer, is pretty amazing," says her mother, Hetal Kocinsky.
Sona Kocinsky's life changed junior year as the soccer season wrapped up - when a pain in her shoulder wouldn't go away.
"I had a biopsy which confirmed it was osteosarcoma in my left scapula," she says.
Chemotherapy was followed by surgery, then more chemotherapy.
Sona Kocinsky wrapped up treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering in December, continuing her classes throughout.
"Finishing high school on time, and by the way with flying colors, I mean we're so proud of her," her mother says.
"I'm lucky enough to say that I'm cancer free today, but I still am a part of that community," Sona Kocinsky says.
The graduates watched messages and heard speeches from the doctors and nurses who saved them from life-threatening illnesses - now overjoyed these teens are moving on to the next phase of their lives.
Sona Kocinsky graduates from Trumbull High School on June 17. She's off to Tufts University in the fall.