Father of college student who battled cancer receives degree in his honor


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) – It’s a story of perseverance for a college student who wouldn’t let a diagnosis come between his goal of one day obtaining a bachelor’s degree from UNCW.

For years, Sean Edwards Jr. worked hard to accomplish his dream.

“This day would be the day he would walk across the stage to get his bachelor’s degree in communications,” said his father Sean Edwards Sr.

According to Ewards Jr.’s father, his son was a proud Seahawk.

“And (he) just enjoyed the educational experience of college and really relished what he was doing, something to start his future,” said Edwards Sr. “In March of this year, we found out that he had a Germ Cell tumor in his chest.”

Despite his obstacles, Edwards Jr. was determined to reach his goal.

He started chemotherapy and worked hard to keep up his energy to finish what he started, with his family by his side, cheering him on.

“But he finished his studies, he completed his studies in the hospital bed,” said Edwards Sr.

Edwards Jr. was able to meet all requirements needed to obtain his undergraduate degree from UNCW.

On September 7, 2022, Edwards Jr. lost his battle with cancer, his father, Sean Edwards Sr. walked the stage, on Saturday, in honor and memory of his son Shaun Antonio Edwards Jr. and accepted his Bachelor of Arts Communication Studies Degree alongside his classmates.

“He was full of joy and laughter and enjoyed life, just embraced being part of something bigger than himself,” said Edwards Sr. “We miss him dearly.”

Edwards Jr.’s family continues to cherish the years they had with him.

“I feel like this is the final stamp of approval on him, a part of his legacy is that he persevered, he did not give up,”  said Edwards Sr. “I think that this is a great opportunity to put a cap on what he did while he was here.”

He hopes his son’s story pushes people to not give up on their dreams, no matter the challenges they face.

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