Teen refuses to walk at graduation unless twin brother with Down - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

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Teen refuses to walk at graduation unless twin brother with Down Syndrome walks

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

An upstate high school graduate got a standing ovation after an emotional walk with his twin brother.

17-year-old Austin Coppala graduated from Rochester's Fairport High School but Coppala's walk was not just any walk across the stage.

The graduate told his parents he would not accept the diploma unless his twin brother TY, who has down syndrome, could cross the stage with him.

Ty didn’t graduate with Austin. But Austin says he never would have earned his diploma without Ty by his side. So he wanted him there to accept his diploma with him. So his mom called the school, and made the special request. They agreed. When the day finally came, it was so emotional.

The moment sent the crowd to their feet.

"Probably going to be one of the most memorable moments of my life, and it means so much that he can share it with me,” said Austin. "Nothing means more to me than him walking the stage today, very excited to hear his name called."

Austin also says having the support of the graduating class is very special to him.

"He said to me, mom, Ty’s worked harder than me, he endured many challenges, he worked hard in a different way,” said Austin and Ty's mother, Cheryl Coppola.

Their mother fought back tears as she explained how proud she was.

Ty and Austin were born just seconds apart.

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