PHENIX CITY, Ala. (WRBL) — 18-year-old Tatiana Gordon fought cancer until the very end. She passed away on July 27; on Friday, her family, friends and teachers released balloons in her honor. 

Loved ones said goodbye to Tatiana as silver and blue balloons headed toward the clouds. The former Central High Student made a lasting impact on the Phenix City community, which was evident by the amount of people and cars lined up on Fontaine Drive. 

“She’s just a beautiful angel now, you know,” Tatiana’s brother, Tyler, said. “As you can see, she made a big impact on everyone.”

Tatiana leaned on her faith as she battled her disease. As the balloons were released, the Gordon family says it felt like Tatiana’s spirit was going toward heaven. 

“To see them cluster together and stick together, and ascending up, you know it reminded me of Jesus when in the Bible…” Tatiana’s grandfather, Nathaniel, said. “… when he left his disciples, he ascended up into heaven… telling them that they need to go on to preach his word. So it was just a blessing.” 

During Tatiana’s time at Central High school, she won the hearts of students and faculty. Despite battling an aggressive cancer, she made it her mission to walk across the graduation stage. According to those in the crowd, there was not a dry eye in the building as she received her diploma. 

While some students dread going to school, those who knew Tatiana say she loved it. Even as her body began failing her, Tatiana was determined to spend her senior year surrounded by her teachers and classmates. 

With class back in session, her positivity serves as a reminder to students to never take these years for granted.