Northern Illinois University held its December graduation ceremonies this weekend.
Electrical engineering major Allana Rose is a graduate who has overcome substantial personal challenges.
She was recently honored with the Prospatheia Award for her achievements at NIU. The award is given by the Department of Electrical Engineering at Northern Illinois University to a senior who has overcome obstacles to achieve success.
The 24-year-old helped design a low-cost blind spot alert system for drivers with visual impairments.
Rose was diagnosed with brain and eye cancer in high school and faced driving difficulties after receiving a prosthetic eye. She attended Rock Valley College before transferring to NIU.
"When I was re-learning how to drive, it was really scary and difficult because now my blind spot is a lot bigger than it used to be," she said.
Rose said she’s faced a lot of ups and downs.
"You know, at first I thought I was going to die," she said. "So it’s kind of like accepting that and trying to cherish each moment you have with the people you love and the life that you have left.”
Rose was able to overcome cancer with chemotherapy.
She said she recently bought a home and is starting a job after graduation in mechanical electronics.