TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — For the past 4 months, 16-year-old Angel Eaton has been battling Ewing’s Sarcoma. It’s a rare form of bone cancer that affects mostly adolescents. However, she prefers not to talk about cancer. “I’ve been watching prom movies since I was five,” Angel explains. “So I’ve been looking forward to the prom since I was five.”
Her mom, Kim Eaton, thinks it’s her vision of prom night that’s kept Angel’s spirits up through 6 rounds of chemotherapy. However, after a recent doctor visit, the Eaton’s learned Angel would be having surgery this Friday. That’s only two weeks before Hillcrest High School’s prom.
“When they told her that, it was like her face just shut down,” explains Kim. “She was mad, she was devastated.”
Even if there were no complications, surgeons are planning to remove Angel’s tumor and several ribs. She will be recovering in the hospital for at least a week. “She’s going to have a really hard time breathing, Kim says. “She’s going to kind of learn how to breath again.” Angel is still determined to attend her prom, and her doctor has told her there is a chance she could even make an appearance. “She definitely won’t be dancing,” Kim explains. “She might even be in a wheelchair, depending on how things go.”
For some of Angel’s friends and loved ones, that was enough motivation to start planning a surprise. Band parents, friends, even strangers collaborated to create a pre-prom party for Angel. Community members stepped up and donated the space and food, while Angel’s friends strung Christmas lights and balloons. Angel’s mother was only tasked with keeping the prom a secret from Angel.
On Saturday night, Angel thought that she was going out on a date with her boyfriend, Brock. She was actually going to the prom. “Totally almost cried, almost lost it,” Kim confesses. “Just walking around and just seeing it–to see the love everybody has for her, it’s just really great.”
Angel was given a pink and purple ballgown to wear.
“I was like, I’m a pretty princess,” Angel says with a smile. She was also crowned pre-prom queen. “I had all of the bank geek people there.” Angel plays flute for Hillcrest. “I love them. So that’s why I’m allowed to call them geeks.”
Angel and her friends danced the night away, and while Angel says she’s very grateful to so many people for making her guaranteed prom night so special she’s determined to make it to her school’s prom. “Even if I have to break out of the hospital, I’m going.”
Angel’s story and donation information can be found at talbertfamilyfoundation.org You can also follow along with her progress on Facebook. Her page is called: Prayers for Angel.