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Family Requests Diploma in Honor of Their Son

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MANCHESTER, Iowa - Last September, West Delaware High School lost a student who had struggled with muscular dystrophy his entire life.

Travis Krapfl died at the beginning of his senior year at the age of 17. With graduation just around the corner, his sister has kicked of an effort to get him a diploma.

Fourteen-year-old Kayla Krapfl can't say enough about her brother, Travis.

"He was the kind of person who always wanted to make you laugh," Kayla Krapfl said.

He made the most of every day with muscular dystrophy, enjoying his autos class and every moment at school. The Krapfl's wanted to see him in this cap and gown, instead they're fighting for a diploma in his memory.

"When he was diagnosed he was only supposed to make it until he was eight years old, so he did double his life, but it was going to be that last achieving moment," said Travis's Father Chris Krapfl.

The school district, however, said it's not that easy to grant their wish. Travis didn't have enough credits to graduate.

"The state has requirements of what is required to earn a diploma, as does the school district and it sounds simple enough to bend the rules, but when you start doing that you have to make decisions about each individual situation, who does and does not have the rules bent for them and that ethically is very difficult to do," said WDCCSD Superintendent Dr. Kristen Rickey.

After meeting with the Krapfl's, the district has decided to stay with its current policy of honoring students who pass away.

"It has been a very difficult choice," Dr. Rickey said.

That includes a flower and a chair on the stage during the graduation ceremony. They'll also dedicate a section of the commencement program to him.

"He earned it and he worked so hard to succeed and he was looking forward so much to graduation and getting a diploma, I just think it's not right that he won't get it." Kayla Krapfl said.

The Krapfl's said they'll keep hoping, the district will change its mind and give Travis his diploma.

"To give him his farewell," Chris Krapfl said.

Graduation takes place May 19.