Prom is a staple in every high schooler's life. Unfortunately for Ilijah Barron, that opportunity was threatened by his 18-month battle with cancer.
Seniors of Liverpool High School weren't gong to let that happen. Since the varsity football player couldn't go to prom, the New York students brought the prom to him. His friends gathered at Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital to enjoy the last few moments they'd all have together as classmates. Ilijah's mother, Nelisha, worked with a group of friends to transform the 11th floor hospital into a formal celebration.
All 20 students went above and beyond, wearing suits and gowns, listening to music, and enjoying some good old BBQ. It was impossible for Ilijah to hold back tears from the grand gesture.
He shared with Syracuse:
"I loved it. It was the most special moment ever. Having everybody there, all my friends. And it was my first high school dance.”
Close friend, Ryan McGowan explained how important it was that Ilijah didn't "miss out." While, Kaleb Ohlemacher let it be known, "There's nothing any one of us wouldn't do for him."
His osteosarcoma (leg bone cancer) diagnosis isn't slowing the 19-year-old down, nor causing him to feel sorry for himself. Even though he's not able to play on the field anymore, he continues to support his team and keep up with academics.
The 2019 Young & Amazing Award recipient stated:
“I never sat down and said, ‘Why me? 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.”
Ilijah is blessed to have such wonderful friends!
Photo: Facebook (Neli Barron)