Paralyzed Buchanan Student Walks Across Graduation Stage

Photo courtesy CUSD

June 2, 2023 – At Buchanan High School’s graduation ceremony, held May 31st at the Veterans Memorial Stadium, a student paralyzed from the waist down walked across the stage as he graduated.

Makai Lloren, a student and now alumnus of Buchanan High School, is paralyzed from the waist down due to a childhood spinal injury according to CUSD.

However, with special training and a special device created for Makai, he was able to walk across the stage with his fellow classmates as the Buchanan Class of 2023 graduated Wednesday night.

“Last night was really exciting,” said Lloren after walking across the stage. Steve Nava, Makai’s physical therapist at SCI-FIT made it a special project to work with Makai. “He told me his goal would be in four years, that I would walk at my graduation.”

Those four years came during the time after Makai’s accident and before his graduation from Buchanan.

As he walked across the stage, Veterans Memorial Stadium erupted in cheers, encouraging Makai to make the 25 step journey.

He then received his diploma from school board member Clint Olivier and Buchanan Principal Omar Hemaidan.

CUSD was very happy to share what they call a “very special moment”, from Buchanan’s graduation.

JT is a recent college grad with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication. He is mainly interested in sports and entertainment but covers a wide array of subjects. He currently writes for the Fresno State Baseball Dugout Club. JT looks forward to continuing his career at the Clovis Roundup and is excited to be working closely with a community that is very proud of its people.