Lincoln H.S. graduating class does something special for 7-year-old boy

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

DENVER -- At Magness Arena, nearly 400 students from Lincoln High School recieved diplomas at graduation ceremonies Monday, but none was more happy the special day was here than Alex Pacheco. The 18-year-old was able to graduate with her 6-year-old cousin, Jovan Allen.

"My classmates decided to get the school to award Jovan a diploma," she says. That was as Alex was picking up the one she earned after her four years with the rest of her Lancer classmates.

"We are just so happy, this is something we will never forget," said Pacheco.

"My cousin will never be able to experience this feeling, because he suffers from Batten's disease. He used to run and play with other kids, but this disease causes him to suffer almost a complete breakdown of his bodily functions. He is going blind, his brain is shrinking and he is on feeding tubes, it's just so sad."

The school, district and graduating class decided to award the little boy a diploma he will never earn.

The family doesn't expect him to live much past the age of 10, so this moment will be frozen in time for them.

As he rolled across the stage, parents and students alike cheered wildly, knowing they have done something a family will never forget.


  • Mary

    For those who are curious as I was, I Google’d Batten’s disease (that’s the correct spelling) and learned the following:
    Batten disease is a fatal, inherited disorder of the nervous system that typically begins in childhood. Early symptoms of this disorder usually appear between the ages of 5 and 10 years, when parents or physicians may notice a previously normal child has begun to develop vision problems or seizures. In some cases the early signs are subtle, taking the form of personality and behavior changes, slow learning, clumsiness, or stumbling. Over time, affected children suffer mental impairment, worsening seizures, and progressive loss of sight and motor skills. Eventually, children with Batten disease become blind, bedridden, and demented. Batten disease is often fatal by the late teens or twenties.

    • Chenyl Allen

      thanks mary for correcting and jovan has the late infantile form so with that form they dont live past 12 you can follow jovan on facebook at Jovan’s Fight oh this is him momma by the way lol

    • Chenyl Allen

      Thanks Judy one more thing this name was spelled wrong its Jovan lol thanks for correcting everything i know he had a lot of storys to cover but i wish they would of just got the little bit of info right

  • Chenyl Allen

    This is Jovan’s mom i just want to say thank you to fox 31 for covering this story on my son and Lincoln i just want to correct a couple of wrongs in this story Jovans name is not spelled javon, he is only 5 but will be 6 july 28th, my cousin is 18 not 17 and the disease is called Batten disease,.. other then those things i really appreciate you’s being able to come and cover this very special day it will forever be remembered thanks to everyone involved! if you would like to follow Jovan on facebook heres the link or just type in Jovan’s Fight and hit like!

Comments are closed.