Cosby High School valedictorian honors friend battling cancer

Thompson said Edmonds gave her memory that will last a lifetime.

Photos courtesy Seth Butler, Newport Plain Talk.

COSBY (WATE) – The Cosby High School valedictorian showed, through her actions, the true meaning of friendship.

“She’s an inspiration to everybody,” Emily Edmonds said.

Edmonds recognized her childhood friend Kiersten Thompson during her graduation speech, receiving a standing ovation for her selfless act. Thompson has been battling a rare form of bone cancer for the past year, having to miss a number of school days as she underwent rounds of chemotherapy and other forms of medical treatment.

Edmonds said her friend deserved the spotlight for her strength and courage.

“I decided to give Kiersten my cords because to me they represented the hard work I put in for my dual enrollment classes, but for her, they represented the hard work she put in for her life while we were in school and she didn’t have the opportunity to do that,” Edmonds said.

The gesture took Thompson by surprise.

“I had been told that Emily was going to mention me in her speech, but I had no idea that she was going to give me her cords and it was just surreal,” Thompson said.

She said it was the highlight of the school year.

“I was very touched,” Thompson said, “really mind blown. I wasn’t expecting that at all.”

The moment moved Danielle Weatherby, Thompson’s mom, to tears.

“It was indescribable,” Weatherby said. “It was an awesome moment.”

Edmonds said Thompson is an inspiration to all and honoring her only felt right.

“She inspired me because she stayed so strong through all of this,” Edmonds said. “And she’s such a positive person. Through all of this I haven’t heard her say anything negative.”

Thompson said Edmonds gave her memory that will last a lifetime.

“It was something I will never forget and I will cherish forever,” Thompson said.

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