Despite missing school for months at a time because of lymphoma, Lincoln Forges maintained his grades and a grade-point average of 3.3 and walked alongside his classmates in Ocoee High School’s graduation ceremony Wednesday, May 30. Many of his supporters — family, friends and teachers — were there to cheer for him as he crossed the stage at the University of Central Florida.
Forges has been juggling school work and cancer treatments since being diagnosed with post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder in December 2016 as a result of a heart transplant when he was 14 months old. The cancer was gone last May, but by December it was back.
“This time it was much worse because this time it had spread to my bone marrow and over the majority of my body,” Forges said. “I went through chemotherapy again, but this time I received much heavier doses of chemo and more frequently than last time — causing me to lose all of my hair.
“(I’m) thankful I managed to finish my treatment in March of this year and have been in remission since,” he said.
He admitted that he didn’t think he would be able to participate in his graduation ceremony because he had been so sick during the treatment.
Forges has been under the care of hematologist Dr. Alejandro Levy and his team at Arnold Palmer Hospital.
He said the recurrence of cancer has not limited him; in fact, he has used it as fuel to accomplish his goals.
Besides being a member of the Student Government Association and the National Honor Society, Forges played on the Ocoee Knight baseball team.
“I don’t want anybody to ever feel bad for me or anything; I’m just another teenager like everybody else,” he said. “That’s how I want people to see me.”
He credits his teachers, advisor and coaches for their support and for making sure he stayed on task with his assignments.
“They were very instrumental in me being successful in school and baseball,” he said.
Forges was able to complete most of his work through Florida Virtual School, and he picked up work packets at school for his other classes.
He has a close circle of friends who he said have been amazing through it all: Caleb Andreaus, Ryan Lattner, Matthew Nielsen, Morgan Townsend, Lauren Townsend, Hailey Poorman, Joy Harris and Madison Snavely, as well as the entire Ocoee baseball family and the OHS student body.
Forges is the son of Lou and Patricia Forges, of Apopka. His next step is to attend UCF and major in sports marketing in hopes of one day owning his own sports agency.