SPARTANBURG, SC (WCMH) — High schoolers in South Carolina came together to help classmate battling cancer have the prom of a lifetime.
MeKayla Gist, 17, was diagnosed with osteosarcoma when she was just 15-years-old. Over the last two years, MeKayla has gone through countless chemotherapy sessions and a life-saving leg amputation. Through it all, MeKayla — also known as the Queen Warrior by her classmates — kept living her best life, inspiring other kids and hitting major milestones with a smile on her face.
“[Kids with cancer] can still be the homecoming queen, they can still get straight As, they can still do whatever they want to do with the help from others,” MeKayla told WHNS.
Then this past year, another hurdle presented itself.
“We found out in February this year, 2017, that she had a relapse of osteosarcoma on her right hip,” said MeKayla’s mother, Jermeca Jackson.
MeKayla ended up back in the hospital for an immediate surgery. When her classmates found out about MeKayla’s relapse, they decided to help her do one thing she hasn’t gotten to do: go to prom.
In the hospital lobby, students lined up to surprise her. Dressed in a stunning blue gown and surrounded by her classmates, MeKayla was crowned prom queen.
“She is one of the strongest people you will ever meet,” said one of the students. “You don’t meet someone that strong in a lifetime, and we knew if anyone deserved the crown, it was definitely her.”
“She really has a lot of determination, and she’s not going to let anyone stop her,” Jackson said.
MeKayla’s high school will also be hosting a benefit later this month in her honor. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help her family with medical expenses.