LA CAÑADA FLINTRIDGE (KABC) -- Like many graduating seniors this year, USC undergraduate Ashley Morrison didn't expect to be met with so many obstacles in her final semester.
Obstacles which arose even before she had to transition to online Zoom classes and virtual graduation due to COVID-19.
In September, she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer.
"That was a struggle just because it was right before midterms," said Morrison. "My teachers were very understanding and it was definitely just a hard time but I still went in and I took my midterms because I knew I just had to continue going and just pushing forward."
And in December, just two days before her final exams of the semester, her father passed away from stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
"I knew that taking my finals to make him proud was my motivation," Morrison said.
After overcoming arguably one of the most difficult years of her life, Morrison's mom and sister knew they had to do something special for her graduation.
"I didn't want to invite people over, even though they wouldn't be masked and you know, keep their distance. So, we thought, could we do a parade," said Ashley's mom Roseanne Morrison.
They invited friends, family and teachers to celebrate.
"I was standing outside on the front yard and I saw my boyfriend and my sister driving down the street. And they were yelling and screaming out the window and I looked up and I saw a bunch of people driving down the street, yelling and honking and it was just - it was such a surprise," said Morrison.
Morrison said she is uncertain of what career lies ahead for her.
But if one thing's for sure, it's that she will continue to fight on.
USC grad gets special celebration after battling cancer and losing her father
USC graduate and La Cañada Flintridge resident Ashley Morrison received a special celebration from friends and family after a difficult year.
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