Teen who had graduation ceremony in hospital room has died

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The Madison High School senior who was given a special graduation ceremony in his hospital room two weeks ago has died.

We all fell in love with Erick Reyes because he had such a sunny, super inspiring disposition.  It was a real blessing to have met him and I'm not the only one left with that feeling.

“I just want to thank God he gave me the opportunity to keep fighting.  It's a blessing from God and I feel like this is something I deserve and I achieved,” Reyes smiled during his graduation speech. 

So when you met Madison High School graduate Erick Reyes on Fox 26 two weeks ago as he glowed and accepted his high school diploma were you also struck by his uplifting spirit?

Pamela Green Raynor wrote on my Facebook page "Erick has taught me and many others to face adversity with strength, grace and determination.

His smile was infectious and I only experienced it by watching his graduation ceremony over and over.  He brought me tears of Joy," she said.

Watching Erick's reaction during his graduation, it was easy to get lost in the ceremony and forget it was being held in his Texas Children's Hospital room as he battled aggressive bone cancer while on hospice.

“It's an unforgettable day and I know this will help me keep fighting and I'm trusting in God that I will overcome,” Erick said.

Shortly after the celebration the teenager passed away on a sunny Thursday afternoon surrounded by loved ones. 

Some of the former Madison High School soccer player's last words to visiting friends and family were "Don't cry.  Don't worry about me.  I'm going to be okay" and he still had that handsome smile.

One thing Erick told me that I'll never forget? He said because he loves God, "Dying is winning to me".

Shirley Taylor told me on Facebook "Erick's is such a beautiful story.  It did my heart good to see it".

Betty Page says "Truly inspirational. To his family, you raised a remarkable man".

Marian Ann Rucker-Peters writes "Eric Reyes!!! Your light shines beautifully and joyfully!".

Erick clearly didn't only accomplish receiving his high school diploma that day.  He touched millions in a way most people never will. 

He leaves behind his parents, older brother and two sisters.  Erick Reyes was 19 years old.  It was truly a pleasure to meet you Erick.

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