When a group of high school seniors from New York learned that their classmate Ilijah Barron would be missing prom due to his ongoing battle with bone cancer, they were determined to make sure that he could experience the special day. Since Barron was unable to attend prom, the Liverpool High School students joined forces and organized a celebration for him at the hospital, Syracuse.com reported.
The 19-year-old was diagnosed with a bone cancer called osteosarcoma. This rare disease typically impacts the arm and leg bones. Prior to his diagnosis, Barron played on the varsity football team. Two years ago, he began experiencing severe pain in his legs. Initially many people thought the pain was a result of playing sports, but after several tests doctors discovered a tumor in one of his legs. He was diagnosed in February and has been in and out of the hospital ever since. Barron was planning on going to his senior ball but ended up in the hospital two days before the event.
With the help of his mother Nelisha, his friends were able to organize a prom celebration for Barron at Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital. They all dressed up in gowns and suits and transformed the 11th floor of the hospital into the perfect backdrop for a prom celebration. The group listened to music and ate food from Dinosaur Bar-B-Que. Barron was moved to tears by the effort made by his friends to make sure that he would be able to experience prom. “I loved it,” he told the news outlet. “It was the most special moment ever. Having everybody there, all my friends. And it was my first high school dance.”
Barron is not letting cancer get in the way of what he wants to accomplish. He still supports his school’s football team and has continued to excel academically. “I never sat down and said, ‘Why me?’” he said in a statement, after being named a Young and Amazing award recipient. “There’s no point in that, because it was only going to hurt me in the long run. Staying mentally positive about it came easier.”