When a 17-year-old brain cancer patient was disappointed about having to miss her senior homecoming, her caregivers decided to bring the dance to her.
Megan Krafty, who lives in Huron, Ohio, was diagnosed with a brain tumor in May after suffering seizures.
Once she had surgery to remove part of the tumor, Krafty arrived at Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital for Rehabilitation last week. There, she was upset about having to miss her homecoming dance.
Her caregivers sprang into action, putting together a Christmas-themed dance.
Surprised by her boyfriend of two years, her family and other rehab patients, Krafty was overcome with emotion when she arrived at the gym, which had been transformed into a winter wonderland. The group danced, ate, did crafts and enjoyed the afternoon.
Krafty's brain cancer was diagnosed in May. That's when a post-seizure MRI revealed a golf ball-sized tumor, as her mother, Jill Edwards, told Fox News Digital in an interview.
On Sept. 12, doctors removed 70% of the tumor.
"They had to leave 30% behind because it was connected to her nervous system," Edwards said.
As a result of the surgery, Krafty experienced some paralysis on her left side, Edwards noted.
Megan Krafty and her boyfriend, Thomas Wilson, enjoy the homecoming experience at Children's Rehabilitation Center on Friday, Sept. 22, 2023. Since Krafty couldn't make her own homecoming dance at her high school, therapists and social workers decora
On Sept. 20, Krafty arrived at Cleveland Clinic for rehab.
Now, just a little over a week later, she is already back to walking without the use of a walker or wheelchair.
"She is the most positive, happy person you'll ever meet in your life," mom Jill Edwards told Fox News Digital about her daughter, Megan Krafty. "Not once has she let this get her down." (Jill Edwards)
"She is the most positive, happy person you'll ever meet in your life," Edwards told Fox News Digital. "Not once has she let this get her down."
Krafty was bummed, however, when she realized that she and her boyfriend, Tommy Wilson, would have to miss the homecoming dance — especially since it’s her senior year.
"So I asked the nurses if she and Tommy could have a quaint little dinner in her room, just the two of them," Edwards said. "And then before I knew it, they had an entire dance planned."
Megan Krafty’s brain cancer was diagnosed in May, which was followed by surgery to remove 70% of the tumor, her mother told Fox News Digital. (Jill Edwards)
Knowing that Krafty’s favorite holiday is Christmas, the caregivers decorated the entire gym in a Christmas theme and put on an entire dance.
"Anything we, as therapists, can do to put a smile on their faces and make their hospital stay easier and a more positive experience is worth it," Leah Young, a certified therapeutic recreation specialist at Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital, told Fox News Digital.
"We were not about to let a 17-year-old miss out entirely on the experience, so we brought homecoming to the hospital."
Lisa Leonard, an inpatient therapy clinical manager who has also assisted Krafty with rehab, echoed those sentiments.
"These kids are going through a lot, so we are always looking for things we can do — especially things they are interested in or that are personal to them — to help make their stay with us better," she told Fox News Digital.
Megan Krafty and her boyfriend, Tommy Wilson, are shown together after her surgery. (Jill Edwards)
Based on the success of Krafty's dance, the staff told Edwards that they plan to do this every year for all the young patients.
Awaiting pathology results
Next, Krafty will receive six weeks of radiation treatments.
Meanwhile, Edwards said they are awaiting pathology results from the surgery.
"We know she has an aggressive, grade 4 glioma, but we're waiting for the pathology report to tell us what type of glioma and how severe that is," Edwards said.
That information will determine Krafty's prognosis and future treatment routes.
Megan Krafty is shown in the hospital with her mom, Jill Edwards. "We know she has an aggressive, grade 4 glioma, but we're waiting for the pathology report to tell us what type of glioma and how severe," Edwards said. (Jill Edwards)
As a high-school senior, Krafty is already taking college courses. She plans to attend the University of Toledo to become a pharmacist, her mother said.
"Megan is a ‘go big or go home’ type of girl — she will not quit, because she wants that honors diploma," Edwards noted.
Some of Krafty’s favorite activities include fishing with her boyfriend and competing on her school’s track and field team.