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Paralyzed Va. teen walks to accept HS diploma

Thursday - 6/20/2013, 7:21am  ET

BURKE, Va. (AP) -- A Virginia teen paralyzed in a swimming accident in Hawaii was able to walk across the stage to accept his high school diploma.

Nick Balenger has gone through intense rehabilitation since injuring himself diving into shallow water in July 2012. On Wednesday, he used a walker to cross the length of the stage and accept his diploma at Burke's Lake Braddock High School. The former star pitcher for the school's baseball team then switched to a cane to get down a few steps. The crowd gave him a standing ovation. Students at the school had previously only seen Balenger use a wheelchair and stand briefly.

Balenger is starting college at James Madison University in the fall. His doctors tell him that a 95 percent recovery from his injury is possible.


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