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For most students, accepting the diploma is the crowning moment of high school graduation, but for Alexander Harris, it was just as much about the walk across the stage to get it.
A little less than a year ago, Alexander snapped his neck in a horrific accident during his very first professional motocross race.
Arms - Doctors - Alexander - Family
He couldn't lift his arms, couldn't feed himself, and doctors warned Alexander and his family that he might never walk again.
But on Thursday, he did just that, pushing himself up from his wheelchair and - with a little support from his walker - striding across the stage to accept his Claremont High School diploma with a grin stretched across his face.
Months - Everything - Alexander
Ten months ago, everything seemed possible for Alexander.
A rising senior at his Los Angeles-area school, he was not only on the verge of finishing the first stage of his education, but was getting an early start to one of his professional aspirations.
Alexander - Motocross - Race - Jump - KTLA5
Alexander was competing in his first ever professional motocross race when a jump went wrong, KTLA5 reported.
He flew over his handlebars and his body crashed to the ground.
Alexander - Impact - Anything
But Alexander didn't feel the impact - he didn't feel anything.
The brutal fall had snapped his neck, doing devastating damage to his spinal cord, along which nerve signals would normally have traveled, telling his brain when the rest of his body was in pain.
Instant - Alexander - Motocross - Career - Future
In that instant it seemed like Alexander's motocross career was over and the future he and his family had seen for him forever altered.
He was rushed to the hospital, where neurosurgeons cautioned Alexander's parents, Peggy and Ken, that they needed to be prepared for the possibility that he would be a quadriplegic.
The spine is remarkably strong, but it's also so central and critical to our...
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