NIU grads overcome cancer, great odds to earn degrees
By AIMEE BARROW – Shaw Media correspondent
DeKALB – Allana Rose has overcome seemingly insurmountable odds on her journey to earn her bachelor’s degree in engineering from Northern Illinois University.
The 24-year-old Rockford resident was diagnosed with a brain tumor while she was a senior in high school, which later led to her losing an eye to cancer and undergoing intense chemotherapy while grinding through college classes. But Rose was determined to get her degree.
Her perseverance paid off, as she and about 900 students walked across the stage at NIU’s Convocation Center this weekend to receive their degrees.
“I feel excited – like I really accomplished something; it’s surreal,” said Rose, who now is cancer-free. “I’m starting a new chapter in my life, and I can’t believe it. I love NIU and how the professors push students to get internships. I learned so much and made so many friends here.”