Homecoming isn’t the same without your friends, so when this high school senior fell ill with cancer, his best friend brought the dance to him.
Blake Mount, a senior at Hilliard Davidson High School in Ohio, had the chance to dance the night away with his closest friends, despite being in the middle of his battle with acute myeloid leukemia, a rare, high-risk cancer.
The hospital event was organized by Mount's best friend Kaitlin O’Connor, 17, along with other friends and members of his family.
“He was very happy," O'Connor said. "He’s one of those people who always has the tough guy face on, [but] he was smiling. You could tell he was really excited about it, especially when he walked in and all his closest friends were in there."
O’Connor told InsideEdition.com that their families had been close all their lives, but really pulled together two weeks ago as Mount was diagnosed with leukemia and admitted to the hospital for chemotherapy.
She explained the pair had originally wanted to go to their high school’s homecoming dance together, but when they realized Mount wouldn’t be able to make it, O’Connor and Mount’s sister had the idea to bring the celebrations to him.
“Homecoming is a big event in the town we’re in and for him to miss that in his senior year... we didn’t want that to happen,” O’Connor said. “Just to lift his spirits and show him his friends are still thinking of him.”
Over the weekend, O’Connor walked into his hospital room to a sign that read: “I’m no Kekoa Crawford, but I’d like to score a date with you to HOCO,” referencing a football player Mount looks up to.
“He was just super confused, he didn’t know what to think of it,” she said. “[He said,] ‘Yeah, but I can’t go.’ He didn’t realize it was right down the hall.”
That’s when she handed him an outfit to change into and led him to a room down the hall, where 10 of his closest friends were waiting for a night to remember.
“It was just like a real homecoming, except we were in the hospital and not the school gym,” she said. “The main thing was to make him happy and make him feel like he had some normalcy in his life for one night [and] just to make him feel like he’s not in the hospital.”
She then shared the photo on Twitter, where it quickly went viral.
“I was just expecting to post it for his friends and family who weren’t able to be there to see that Blake was doing okay and he was enjoying himself,” O’Connor explained.
A GoFundMe page created to raise money for Mount’s medical bills says he will remain in the hospital for at least four months to receive in-patient chemotherapy treatments and a bone marrow transplant.