Early Graduation for One Courageous Student - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Early Graduation for One Courageous Student

Andrew Sato Andrew Sato
Lynn Gamata Lynn Gamata
Lieutenant Governor "Duke" Aiona Lieutenant Governor "Duke" Aiona

By Tracy Gladden

AIEA (KHNL) -- Aiea High School's class of 2008 held a graduation ceremony for one special senior Tuesday.

17-year-old Andrew Sato has learned far more in his short life than his Aiea High School classmates. Terminal leukemia caused him to miss much of his senior year but didn't deter him from the dream of graduating.

Tuesday, the State Department of Education gave Sato an honorary high school diploma.

"To the staff, the seniors, family, friends, everybody, I thank you for this day, ya wo hoo!" Andrew Sato said.

Lynn Gamata is his foster mother. "Everyday I think about it, I say god you know just give him more time to spend with us. Let him fulfill his dream and I'll be thankful," she said.

Sato lost both of his parents when he was young and Gamata took him into her home as a foster child two years ago. "This is his day, it's actually our day to celebrate this moment with him and I'm very very proud of him," Gamata said.

Lieutenant Governor "Duke" Aiona says Andrew's life is an inspiration and treated him to a surprise.

"Andrew, you serve as a role model for people of all ages throughout the state and therefore on behalf of Governor Linda Lingle and myself, we proclaim today, February 5th 2008 as Andrew Sato day in the state of Hawaii," Aiona said.

With diploma in his hand, and day named for him, Sato greeted his peers with courage. "All I want to think about is for Andrew is up here having a party, having fun and have always a smile on his face," Gamata said.

Sato has been described as a dreamer. He loves computers and would like to be a professional chef.

If you want more information on how you can help Andrew and his family you can contact Heart Gallery Hawaii or call 295-1929.

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