Memorial Sloan Kettering holds annual Pediatric Convocation virtually

News 12 Employees

June 10, 2021, 5:38 PM EDT

Updated: June 10, 2021, 10:07 PM EDT

The Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center held its annual Pediatric Convocation virtually Thursday due to the pandemic.

Trumbull senior Sona Kocinsky and her classmates are not from the same school or even the same state. They have something else in common: strength and resilience.

The teens are all current or former pediatric cancer patients who are now celebrating an important milestone — one they wouldn’t see.

“It seemed so far in the future. I couldn’t imagine being here today, so it’s a bit emotional for me,” says Sona Kocinsky.

“To be at this point where we hoped she would be if she didn’t have cancer is pretty amazing,” says her mother, Hetal Kocinsky.

Sona Kocinsky’s life changed the first year as the football season came to an end – when pain in her shoulder wouldn’t go away.

“I had a biopsy that confirmed it was osteosarcoma in my left scapula,” she says.

Chemotherapy was followed by surgery, then more chemotherapy.

Sona Kocinsky completed treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering in December and continued her classes throughout.

“Finishing high school on time, and by the way with flying colors, I mean, we are so proud of her,” her mom says.

“I’m lucky enough to say I’m cancer-free today, but I’m still part of that community,” says Sona Kocinsky.

The graduates watched messages and heard speeches from the doctors and nurses who saved them from life-threatening illnesses – now overjoyed, these teens are moving on to the next stage of their lives.

Sona Kocinsky will graduate from Trumbull High School on June 17. She will attend Tufts University in the fall.

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