In just two days, a 6-year-old was able to earn his high school diploma. Walter "Superbubz" Herbert loves school, his teachers and the principal. And the feeling is mutual. The entire staff at his school wanted to do something special for him, that he might otherwise not get to experience.
The 6 year old is battling neuroblastoma, a type of pediatric cancer, but that doesn't stop the young boy from wanting to live life to the fullest.
On Friday, donning his red cap and gown, the young boy marched into his high school graduation surrounded by friends and family.
“Surreal, very very emotional,” said Walter's mom, Emily Herbert.
“It's just really, really neat. He gets to graduate school at 6, and he really wants to go to school, he loves being here,” said his dad, Wally Herbert.
This was a really big day for the whole family as he tackled a major milestone in his life.
Walter started his academic journey in the second grade until he was passed through each grade one at a time, with Principal Kari Gallo standing by his side.
“We’ve talked as we’ve gone from class to class and I tried to just let him really see it from an outside perspective. We talked about how big the chairs get as you get older how big the kids get as they get older,” she said.
Walter's journey through the classroom wasn't always an easy one.
He ended up sleeping through fifth grade.
“Which is totally ok! When he was in fourth grade I asked him if he wanted to stop or if he wanted to go to fifth grade and take a nap and he said he all go to fifth grade and take a nap! ” the principal said.
Walter made it through and graduated high school on Friday with some of his biggest fans cheering him on.
Meeting the Bengals
Before his graduation ceremony he took to the field with the Bengals. Wearing the same jersey as his favorite football player, A.J. Green, he walked through the tunnel that the famed sports team triumphs through at Paul Brown Stadium.
On the field he was able to play catch with long snapper Clark Harris and met Green during a break in their practice.
"We're so blessed to be able to do what we do, but to have these young people come out here take part in our Friday practices and see the smiles on their faces as they greet the players, and it's great for the players to really have a chance to reach out to them," Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said. "These guys have young children of their own and so it's always a great message to them and very thankful for where we are and what we have."
Joey Votto Home Run
This comes after another amazing experience for the young boy when he was at a Reds game and Joey Votto hit a home run. The player then gave him his bat and jersey, an honor not many people receive.
His busy schedule has been a great distraction for the child, according to his father.
Doctors have stopped his chemotherapy treatment after he developed a fungal infestation that forced surgeons to have to amputate a small portion of his little finger.
"We do know it was in his pinky and in his leg, but they think that might be just local," Wally said. "That's kind of what we're praying for, and if that's gone we get to go fight cancer again."