The homecoming dance is a special part of any teen’s school year, a night of dressing up and partying with your friends and classmates. For the students at Hilliard Davidson High School, in Hilliard, Ohio, it was all they could talk about.
But it wouldn’t be a fun night for one student.
Only two weeks before the big dance, senior Blake Mounts was diagnosed with leukemia.
It’s a terrible condition to face, but Blake is fighting it. However, it will require a long hospital stay and several rounds of treatment.
“It’s a long road ahead for our guy,” Blake’s mother, Shelly Mounts, told Cosmopolitan. “But he’s a fighter. And he’s so positive.”
Blake has been keeping his chin up, thanks to the support of his friends and family—especially his 15-year-old sister, Taylor, who called her brother her best friend.
“I love him so much,” she told Buzzfeed.
Of course, all this meant he would have to sit out his senior homecoming dance. It wasn’t the worst of his problems, but it still disappointed Blake—as well as his friend and fellow senior, Kaitlin O’Connor, who planned to make him her date.
But Kaitlin decided to ask him anyway.
Kaitlin brought at least one ritual of the homecoming dance to Blake’s hospital room: the “promposal,” asking him to be her date in a creative way.
“I’m no Kekoa Crawford, but I’d like to score a date with you to HOCO,” she wrote, referencing Blake’s favorite football player.
With plenty of Blake’s other friends present, Kaitlin arrived at his hospital room and surprised him with the proposal.
Nobody should ever have to miss their senior homecoming! His reaction will make your heart so happy❤️ love ya bubby! F CANCER pic.twitter.com/CIadROzGC2
— Taylor Mounts (@tayylormounts) September 26, 2017
“She came in and surprised me and I had no idea,” Blake told Buzzfeed News.
“He was just super confused, he didn’t know what to think of it,” Kailtin told Inside Edition. “[He said,] ‘Yeah, but I can’t go.’”
But then, they surprised him with something else: a formal suit to wear.
He suddenly realized his friends had something even bigger planned. They set up a homecoming dance just for him—in the hospital!
Right down the hall, his friends had set up decorations for his own special dance. If Blake couldn’t go to homecoming, they would bring homecoming to him.
They dubbed it the “F*** Cancer Homecoming.” True to his word, he took Kaitlin as his date.
“He was very happy,” Kaitlin 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.”
But it was his sister’s idea all along.
She had wanted to do something for her brother to lift his spirits, and teamed up with his friends to make it happen.
“Honestly it was so amazing to see my brother so happy for the first time since he’s been in the hospital,” Taylor told Buzzfeed. “And it was the first time he had been out of his bed since then.”
And Blake was thrilled by the surprise—not only did it give him a taste of the event he thought he’d be missing out on, but it gave him something fun to do during his months-long hospital stay.
“I’ve been pent up in this room,” he told Buzzfeed.
“It was nice to actually be wearing normal clothes and stuff and be with my friends all in the same room.”
And it made him grateful to his friends and family, just to know that they would go out of there way and think of him like this.
“It brought a little home to the hospital,” Blake said. “It made me feel a little positive—I have a lot of people with my back.”
And of course, they partied hard.
“It was like three hours long,” Blake told Buzzfeed.
“I guess you can say ‘It was lit.'”
When photos of the surprise hit the internet, they quickly went viral—people were touched by the teens’ creativity and thoughtfulness.
It took everyone by surprise, but they’re glad people have read their story, and they hope it can spread some goodness, as well as awareness of leukemia.
“While planning this, we never expected any attention,” his mother Shelly told Cosmopolitan. “We really just wanted to give Blake a special homecoming since it’s his senior year and he couldn’t go.”
“These are some special kids!”