HAWKINS COUNTY, Tenn. - One of the graduates to receive a diploma at Northeast State Community College this semester has a remarkable story to tell; least of all is the fact that she's still here.
She's been dealing with cystic fibrosis her entire life. It hasn't slowed her down in the least; in fact, it has inspired her to be the best she can be.
Barbara Moore has spent her morning decorating her graduation cap in a Harry Potter theme. She's hooked up to a pulmonary vest that's like a thousand pats on the back to help her keep her lungs clear, just one of the many treatments she goes through to deal with life-threatening cystic fibrosis. "I always knew it was life-threatening. In high school, people would ask me more questions, and when you had to tell them the answer, the look on their faces started to make me think," she says.
Certainly not about giving up on life, but getting motivated. "It allowed me to create a change that if it was tomorrow, would I regret not doing something today? It definitely made me a go-getter. I wanted to succeed. I wanted to try new things," Barbara said.
And succeed she has -- she will graduate from Northeast State with not just one degree, but three. "I'm actually receiving three associated derees and a certificate," she said. "Go big or go home."
It's that attitude that makes her a hero to many, including her mother Jennifer. "Everybody I see says, 'She's my hero, go girl.' That makes you feel good," her mother said.
So if you think life has dealt you a bad hand, Barbara has a saying for you. "Some of us will spend our lives dying from our tragedies. The rest of us are going to spend our lives living through them," she said.
You go, girl.