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‘Nothing can stop you:’ 21-year-old told she wouldn’t live past 5 graduates from Alverno

Data pix.

Brianna Walker

MILWAUKEE -- Overcoming adversity and fighting obstacles, a 21-year-old woman has quite the success story and is looking forward to pursuing her dreams.

Proudly decorated, Brianna Walker was feeling accomplished and thankful -- fortunate to have support from her family, friends, and staff at Alverno College as she earned her undergraduate degree on Saturday, Dec. 14.

Walker was born with a cataract in her right eye.

Brianna Walker

"Growing up, it was so hard," said Walker. "I was different from other kids. I'm permanently blind in that eye. I can see colors and movement, but that's about it. I basically have one good, working eye."

That's not all.

"Also when I was born, my bones and my muscles were growing faster than my heart," said Walker.

Doctors said she wasn't going to live past 5 years old.

On Saturday, she graduated with a degree in psychology and women's and gender studies. She gave the student address at Alverno's commencement ceremony. As she walked across the stage with pomp and circumstance, she took pride in her perseverance -- looking ahead to the next chapter in her life and all that it took to get her here.

"Everything is happening for a reason," said Walker. "Everything has a bigger purpose in life. Just know you can do it. There is support out there. There is a bigger plan for everybody. Nothing can stop you."

After graduating, Walker said she planned to spend time with family before getting some job experience and, eventually, a master's degree in school psychology.

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