Jonah Barnett had his biggest wish granted Friday when he was welcomed as the newest student at Cousins Middle School. And while starting middle school might not mean much to some kids, Jonah’s story is a little different.
The 11-year-old was diagnosed with a brain tumor when he was 13 months old. The cancer has destroyed his ability to speak and walk. But while at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Atlanta recently, Jonah shared his greatest wish: to graduate fifth grade at Flint Hill Elementary and move on to middle school. After a discouraging report from doctors in October, Flint Hill decided to make part of Jonah’s dream come true with a graduation ceremony from fifth grade.
Friday, Cousins went a step further, welcoming him as their newest student at a pep rally. He donned an official Cousins hat and basketball sweatshirt and watched the pep rally, cheering on his fellow students, and receiving a standing ovation from the other middle schoolers when his name was announced as the newest member of the Cousins family.
Jonah also served as special manager of the boys’ basketball game Friday afternoon, and later this week his dream will be complete when he receives his locker at Cousins.
“Words are too inadequate to express the courage and life shown in this young man,” said Newton County School Superintendent Gary Mathews. “For those who know and love him, what a blessing he is now and for always. For all others, he’s an inspiration and a reminder of how precious life is.”