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ALS Worldwide
May 26, 2017

Proud Father Brad Watches His Daughter Graduate From College

"It was Brad Gildenblatt's dream to watch his only child Caitlin graduate from college. When ALS no longer allowed Brad to leave the hospital, the college brought graduation to him. Caitlin graduated from Oklahoma State University (OSU) in a bedside ceremony at LifeCare Hospitals in Dallas, Texas.

'It meant the world they would actually do that,' said Caitlin. 'I thought he was just going to have to watch me on the live-streamed ceremony.'

Brad has been immobile since being diagnosed with ALS during Caitlin's sophomore year, but it was always the plan he would make the three-hour trip with his wife to watch Caitlin graduate. On Easter weekend, Brad contracted pneumonia and needed a tracheotomy, leaving him confined to the hospital's ICU.

'I was upset, I was sad, but I knew this is where he needed to be,' Caitlin explained. 'It was just mixed emotions because I didn’t want him trying to come to graduation and have something happen. I’d rather him just stay in the hospital and be where he needs to be.'

When OSU Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences Bruce Crauder heard about the situation, he contacted Caitlin and her family to inform them he would be traveling to Dallas to work with the hospital to hold a private ceremony. 'They decorated it for us, got chairs, made cupcakes...there were balloons. It was nice,' said Caitlin.

She and her mom then drove back to OSU the following day so Caitlin could formally participate in her school’s ceremony. Her dad did get to watch her walk for graduation on a livestream.

Caitlin plans to take over her dad’s position in her family’s advertising business and spend some much-needed quality time with her family." Read the full story published by Inside Edition at…/23458-dad-battling-als-watch….