Kindergartener celebrated by classmates after enduring nearly 2.5-year cancer treatment

ROCHESTER, Minn. — A Rochester, Minnesota 6-year-old was the man of the hour at St. Francis of Assisi School last month after completing a 900-day treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Nathan Herber had to leave the school when he was diagnosed in 2018, at the age of 4, leading to the nearly two-and-a-half years of treatment at the nearby Mayo Clinic for the aggressive stage 4 cancer, ABC News reported.

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On March 25, more than 300 of his fellow students lined the school’s parking lot to cheer Nathan on as his parents slowly drove their minivan past them to celebrate his last day of treatment, the Grand Forks Herald reported.

The original plan had been for Nathan’s class to greet him during the procession, Principal Barb Plenge told the newspaper.

By the time the parade-of-one rolled, however, almost all the school’s students had joined the festivities, chanting “Na-than! Na-than!” the Herald reported.

“I’m gonna be happy because I might be able to see my friends from all the [classes] that I had last time,” Nathan told “World News Tonight,” flanked by his twin brother Justin and older brother Grant.

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Although Nathan’s experience has been extreme, his mother told the program that his story can certainly resonate with students nationwide anticipating the return of in-person classes as coronavirus pandemic restrictions loosen.

“Our hope for everybody returning to school this year is to never give up – to know that this isn’t forever, that there will be an end and [that] things will be normal again,” Becky Herber said.