Senior is brave enough to walk at her graduation, despite her skin condition

posted Jun 13, 2018, 7:12 AM by PHS Warrior Beat

By: Jordan Croswell

    Riley McCoy is a 18 year old student at Dana Hills High School in Dana Point, California. But there's something different about her that makes her stand out.

    McCoy has a skin condition called xeroderma pigmentosum. A rare skin condition that’s characterized by extreme sensitivity to ultraviolet rays from sunlight. Research from the US National Library of Medicine states that it affects about one in every 1 million people in the United States and Europe.

    If sunlight touches Riley’s face or body, it can cause severe sunburns or and potentially lethal cancer. About 30% of people diagnosed with xeroderma pigmentosum also experience neurological degeneration. But despite her condition, Riley has never let it keep her from pursuing her dream.

    To walk at graduation, Riley wore latex gloves, a special bubble-front  and a UV-safe hood with a built-in fan under her blue graduation cap.

    A support group for children with XP purchased the supplies for Riley’s big day. And she plans to share it among the group members.

    Riley’s mother, Pam McCoy, told CNN that she was surprised to see her daughter walk with everyone else instead of having to go with another school.

    "I never thought she'd want to take that kind of risk," McCoy said. "But she really insisted she was going to walk with her friends. There was no convincing her."

    "We were standing up and the next thing you know all the people around us started standing up too," McCoy said. "Everyone around us was rooting for her and calling her name. There was such a wave of love in the air."

    Riley said she’s grateful for the support she received from friends, teachers, staff and her aide.


Uploaded By:6/13/18

Edited By: ST