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Published: Thursday, June 20, 2019 @ 10:17 AM
LIVERPOOL, N.Y. — Ilijah Barron started to feel pain in his leg in 2017.
Barron, 19, played basketball and varsity football so he chalked it up to a possible sports injury.
When he had trouble climbing the stairs at his house in 2018, his mother took him to the doctor. He was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, an aggressive form of cancer that affects long bones, typically near the knees, Syracuse.com reported.
He has undergone treatment, including total knee replacement and chemotherapy. Throughout this time, he completed the required school work to graduate, was a recipient of a Young and Amazing award and was looking forward to the senior ball.
Two days before the big dance, however, Barron was in tremendous pain and had to go to the hospital.
“That broke him into pieces,'' his mother Nelisha Barron told Syracuse.com. “I decided I would try with everything in me to make him happy so he wouldn’t miss that moment. I decided it was going to happen!”
She called his friends, his school and the hospital officials.
By Saturday afternoon, about 20 students dressed in gowns and tuxedos descended on the hospital.
"I loved it,'' Barron told Syracuse.com. “It was the most special moment ever. Having everybody there, all my friends. And it was my first high school dance.”
Since Ilijah had to start chemo again, going to his senior Ball was out of the question. So with the help of an amazing hospital staff and a huge support system we brought 2019 senior Ball to him at the hospital pic.twitter.com/A9h5fc2JYB— Neli Barron (@Loyalty1978) June 16, 2019
Barron hopes to be released Saturday so he can attend another significant event -- graduation.
"He’s not going to miss any of his special moments,'' his mother told Syracuse.com.