'They told us she wasn't going to be here': Valley girl born deaf defies odds and graduates

The song is all too familiar.

It's a night to remember for hundreds of graduates at Washington Union High School.

For the Barcellos family, it's a night they were worried they'd never see for their daughter, Madison.

"In 2001, they told us she wasn't going to be here. She was going to be deaf, blind, autistic," says Dan Barcellos, Madison's father.

Madison's parents later discovered she wasn't blind but was born deaf due to a virus her mother contracted while pregnant.

In 2003, she received her first cochlear implant and Action News cameras were in the room when she heard her first sound.

We were there again when she received her second implant, capturing the heartwarming moment

Today, we watched her don her cap and gown, defying the odds, her world now filled with music as a cheerleader for the high school.

"I like dance... cheer. I like listening to music and the moves," she says.

Her teachers are amazed by her progress and while she speaks, she also learned sign language in high school.

"I think it's important for people to realize that just because someone has a disability, there isn't a can't," says Anthony Davis, her teacher.

With nothing holding her back, Madison smiled as she heard her name called to receive her diploma.

She's off to her next adventure - college, hoping to give students like her the same opportunities.

"I'm going to be a teacher... an ASL teacher," she says.

"The sky's the limit, and we'll always be there for her and we love her," her father says.
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