Six Annapolis area students overcome odds to graduate

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GradAustinLogothetisWAustin Logothetis, Severna Park High School

When Austin Logothetis started his freshman year of high school, he had not been in school for three years. Austin, now 18, was diagnosed with Leukemia when he was in fifth grade, and he went through four years of treatment at John's Hopkins Hospital. He spent his middle school years in the hospital and started high school while he was still undergoing treatment.

Austin says a lot had changed when he returned to school in ninth grade, especially the classmates he had not seen in three years.

"The last time I had been in school was in fifth grade, so I had a little of an uphill battle getting acclimated to the high school environment," Austin says. "Everyone was different. When I was in fifth grade, everyone was who they were then, but now they were teenagers."

Three and a half years into remission, Austin is now an advocate for various cancer organizations, including Alex's Lemonade Stand, The Zachary Hebda Foundation, and John's Hopkins' Camp Sunrise, which is a free summer camp for child cancer patients and survivors. Austin says he is motivated by the memory of friends he met in the hospital who lost their battles with cancer.

"What I do is in honor of their legacy, what they have left behind," Austin says. "I want to live my life as fully as I can, because they couldn't. Their mothers and fathers couldn't see them grow up to do anything they were capable of. So what I'm doing is in memory of them."

Austin plans to attend college at the University of North Florida, and then he hopes to be accepted to an Ivy League medical school and become a pediatric cardiac surgeon.

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