PETERSBURG, Va. – Keith Granderson didn’t start walking until he was six-year-old but he got out of the wheelchair and worked to beat the odds.
He said he hasn’t let the cerebral palsy diagnosis stop him from much in life and is humbled that others have taken notice of how hard he`s worked and how he has put his education first.
He will graduate from Virginia State University on Saturday.
Keith's mom Lisa Gill says his upcoming graduation from VSU is no surprise to her because he has always been a fighter.
“We never listened when the doctors said he wouldn't even make it, I said he`d be fine,” Gill said.
Gill knows it`s going to be tough to contain her emotions when he walks across the stage to receive his degree in criminal justice.
“I’m going to be proud…elated...all over the place!” she exclaimed.
Both acknowledged there were challenges along the way, but nothing that Keith`s faith and hard work wouldn't help him conquer.
He and his mom even made part of the journey together. She`s not far behind him in school, and will graduate from VSU in December, with the same criminal justice degree.
They said that they have loved sharing a class along the way and have inspired each other.
“We sat next to each other and built on each other, if I didn't understand, I’d ask him and vice versa,” she said.
Now Keith hopes his story will encourage others who may be living with a disability to give it their all in life.
“This is what I live by,” he said, “there`s always somebody worse off than you, so fight through it, get through it.”
“Keep the faith in God, that`s what I’ve done the last 25 years of my life.”
That attitude has well served the man nicknamed by his peers as the "Mr. Mayor." He starts work at with VSU police soon.