KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Everyone’s cheering for Makayla Claussen because she’s a graduating survivor.
She’s smiling now but just three years ago Makayla was battling a rare auto immune disease in addition to stage 4 cancer. Doctors said she had a small chance of living unless she got a stem cell transplant.
Her brother was tested — but wasn’t a perfect match. So they turned to the internet, and out of 27 million people she found that perfect match in Germany.
Saturday that donor traveled 4,000 miles just to see Makayla graduate.
“I’m very fortunate that I beat it…For me it means everything,” said Claussen.
Before Saturday they’ve never met only communicating through email. She knows she just had to get a chance to thank the woman who saved her life in person.
When Makayla asked Claudia Reverts to come to her graduation, Claudia says she knew she had to make it for the special moment.
“It’s the best thing you can do,” said Reverts.
Proving that no matter what this tag team kicked cancer and her rare disease’s butt.
“For me walking across the stage, it’s kind of to me the final significance of cancer didn’t beat me, I beat it,” said Claussen.
Makayla graduated with a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from the college of education. She plans on taking a year off from school before deciding to enter nursing or physical therapy school.
She says she knows she wants to work in the medical field on the oncology floor. Sunday will be celebrating her 1000th day in remission.