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Federal Way's Decatur to hold special graduation for student with brain tumor
Dom Cooks will graduate from Decatur High School next Thursday. The school is holding a special graduation ceremony for Cooks at 6 p.m. inside the Decatur gymnasium on Feb. 20.
Cooks, 18, was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor in the spring of 2012 and his infectious attitude has become a staple throughout the halls during the school year. The former football, basketball and track athlete makes the morning announcements every day, which include some type of inspirational message. He was also appointed as an Associated Student Body officer by the Decatur students.
The graduation ceremony comes after doctors gave Cooks a couple weeks to live. At the beginning of the school year, doctors said that he probably wouldn’t make it through his senior year at Decatur.
During the fall, Cooks’s “dream” of getting back on the football field and scoring a touchdown was fulfilled during the Gators’ homecoming game against the Auburn Mountainview Lions.
Cooks didn’t take a hit, but did cross the goal line. Decatur’s offense lined up with Cooks split out on the right side of the line in front of the Auburn Mountainview defense. Decatur quarterback Isaiah Hatch then hit junior receiver Isaiah Diggs with a pass, Diggs then pitched the ball to Cooks on a hook-and-ladder play.
Cooks did the rest, completing a few juke moves before scoring his “dream” touchdown.
After he crossed the goal line, Cooks completed his special “touchdown dance,” which included finger-rolling the football out of his right hand, before both teams, coaches, cheerleaders and fans surrounded him, yelling his nickname, “Cookie, Cookie, Cookie.”
“Honestly, if it wasn’t for Decatur, I don’t think I would be here today,” Cooks said in October. “I just love Decatur. I love the kids at Decatur. It’s one, big happy family. A lot of kids in school look forward to the weekends. But I wish we had school on the weekends because I love being here so much.”