It’s hard to enjoy homecoming when one of your best friends can’t be there to celebrate because they’re sick.
When Kaitlin O’Connor learned that her best friend, Blake Mount, would have to skip the big dance after being diagnosed with leukemia, she knew she wouldn’t be able to go to homecoming without him.
According to Inside Edition, Mount was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia just a couple of weeks ago.
The high school senior at Hilliard Davidson High School in Ohio initially thought he would be able to leave the hospital for an hour or two, but doctors soon discovered that his cancer was more aggressive than they previously thought.
Although O’Connor and Mount’s families have been very close for their whole lives, everybody really came together when they learned of Mount’s diagnosis.
Because O’Connor and Mount were initially planning on going to their homecoming dance together, O’Connor ultimately decided she just couldn’t go without her best friend.
Instead of going to the dance, O’Connor and some of the pair’s other friends pulled together a sweet homecoming at the hospital to cheer up Mount.
“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.”
Last weekend, Mount walked into his hospital room and discovered 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 he likes.
“He was just super confused, he didn’t know what to think of it,” she recalled. “[He said,] ‘Yeah, but I can’t go.’ He didn’t realize it was right down the hall.”
After handing him an outfit to change into, O’Connor told Mount to meet her down the hall, where 10 of their closest friends were waiting.
“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.”
O’Connor later shared a photo of the night on Twitter, where it instantly 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,” she said.
According to a GoFundMe page created to help alleviate Mount’s medical expenses, the teen will have to spend at least four months in the hospital while he undergoes chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant.