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Mother And Son Finish College Side-By-Side After Battling Homelessness And Cancer

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Patricia Love Davis and her son Kenneth McCray II both have reached a major milestone in their lives: graduating from college. Of course, getting a college degree is no easy task in itself, but to combine that with dealing with homelessness, job loss, and Patricia’s battle with cancer? That’s enough to make the average person give up, but not these two. The mother-son duo faced these life challenges head-on, and now both were able to cross the stage together with their degrees from Broward College in South Florida.

Unforeseen Circumstances

Patricia and Kenneth have really been through the wringer. Kenneth’s father and the love of Patricia’s life died when Kenneth was only six. Patricia was grieving but had to push through in order to raise Kenneth. She worked full-time and made ends meet. She even had plans to get her college degree. However, more trials would come that took her off track.

In 2004, Patricia was diagnosed with a rare form of lymphoma and fell into a coma due to her chemotherapy that she was going through. She had to learn to walk and talk again, as well as provide for Kenneth. However, slowly but surely, the mom got back on her feet. Things were looking up…until Patricia’s department at work was shut down when Kenneth was 18. “My income stopped,” she told ABC affiliate WPLG-TV. “We actually became homeless for a while. We were homeless for about two years.”

Staying Together

Kenneth himself had planned to continue on with his own education. He was actually in college, but left after bouncing from home to home got to be too much.”We hit hard times [and] I had to be the man of the house,” Kenneth shared. “I ended up working.” Patricia added, “He started working and paying all the bills and even giving Mommy an allowance,” she said.

Kenneth eventually returned to college at Broward College while working. He admitted that it was rough having all of that responsibility on his plate. “There were times I wanted to break down,” he revealed. “So I had to hide in the bathroom a little bit without making a sound so my mom wouldn’t see me. It was pretty hard but I always look for something, I always look for a positive along the way.”

Crossing The Stage

In 2014, shortly after Kenneth returned to school, Patricia decided to go for her degree. She ended up enrolling at Kenneth’s school and enjoying her time there. “I still wanted to get that education and get that experience, which for me was awesome, and I had the most awesome professors who made it so much fun to get to learn as I went along,” she said. She even had a math class with Kenneth and got the higher grade between them.

The two recently graduated together. with Kenneth earning his associate’s degree in computer science. Patricia received her associate’s degree in criminal justice. To cross the stage with her son was a momentous occasion for Patricia that she will never forget.  “To be able to not only graduate and get my degree but to get it with my son and to walk across the stage with my son, it’s a dream come true. It’s nothing that we dreamed on a normal basis but it was a dream come true for me,” she shared.

Moving forward, Patricia is going to take some time away to celebrate her degree and being cancer free for over 12 years. Kenneth plans on finishing up his bachelor’s degree in computer science. They both will move to central Florida together. Together, they’ll be moving to Central Florida.”We’re looking forward to our new journey and look forward to things getting better than they are right now,” Patricia said.

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