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Paraplegic student walks to receive diploma

May 17, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
A graduation ceremony over the weekend was an extra special moment for a paraplegic student at UC Berkeley, who walked across the stage to receive his diploma.

Austin Whitney, 22, was paralyzed in a car accident in 2007. Despite his injuries, he vowed he would walk.

Berkeley's own robotics and engineering department built an exoskeleton for Whitney to take the seven challenging steps across the stage.

"I knew when I stood up here in front of people, that it would be different, and it truly was," Whitney said. "It was truly the greatest gift anyone has ever given me."

The exoskeleton is still in development, but students hope to one day put it on the market.