Elmira/Corning Regional Airport

Graduation Dream Come True

Nick Patte Graduates

DRYDEN (WENY)---Four years ago, Nick Patte entered High school with one goal in mind- to graduate. Today, he can put a check next to that dream and he has a diploma to show for it.

Nick says, "It was kind of easy and I'm excited to be out of school and moving onto college."

A lot of kids in Nick Patte's situation don't finish school as easily. Diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy at two, Nick's muscles have been steadily detereorating since.

His mother Sharon says the moment he was handed his diploma was one of her proudest moments.

She says, "It was a blessing, we just didn't know and we are so lucky that we had graduation today."

"He's always wanted to go and be free and he preservered and he made it through his senior year," said his sister, Alissa.

His gym teacher, Krista Gillette says she adores Nick. She said, "Watching him walk the stage warms my heart and its something I will keep in my heart forever."

You can tell, graduation isn't something Nick's loved ones take for granted especially with Nick's diagnosis, which dramatically decreases life expetancy.

Nick and Eric Brodsky have known each other for over 15 years. Both suffer from duchenne M-D.

Eric graduated in 2011, and he knows what struggles lie ahead but he sees only good things in Nick's future.

He says, "The disease he has it makes him very weak but he's overcome it. He will. He'll be fine."

And Nick is fine, a happy kid, with lots and lots of friends. His Teachers say he didn't let his disability define him.

"He loved to hang out with everybody and do everything everybody else did," said one of his high school aids, Amy Curry.

Gillette says, "Over the five years his disability got worse but he still did everything that every other kid did."

His mother did get emotional when talking about her son. She says, "He always puts a smile on. No matter how tough times are, he always does."

An 18-year-old who keeps one motto in the back of his head.

He says, "Live life to the fullest. That's really all."

Nick plans to take a year off and relax and then go to college for video game design.

And, if you want to to Duchenne M-D, there is a chicken Barbuque on July 14th.

The event is at the Lansing Ball Field and it starts at 10:30 in the morning.