Circumstances make day special for 2013’s queens

Published 2:16 am Saturday, September 14, 2013


Kelley got news in hospital room

When the text message alert went off at Megan Kelley’s hospital bedside, she thought it was another well-wisher sending “get well soon” thoughts.

It wasn’t.

The message read: U R Queen!!!!!!!!

It was accompanied by a video of Dr. Daniel Shakespeare announcing the 2013 homecoming court, and it was one, like the text message said, over which Andalusia High School senior Kelley would rule. (To hear the crowd’s reaction, click here.)

“I was, just, beyond excited,” Kelley said via telephone amidst the homecoming preparations and on the drive from the hairdresser to her Meadowbrook home.

The announcement was one that the 17-year-old, who is currently battling a rare form of cancer called Ewing’s Sarcoma, didn’t think she’d ever hear. After all, she was in the middle taking her last chemo treatment of the week when the message came through.

So, her mom, Donna, did what any other mom would do – flew home from Birmingham and enlisted the help of a few friends to get her daughter ready for the big night.

“Well, she cried first,” Kelley said of reading the message aloud to her mom.

The duo even made it home in time for Kelley to ride in her yellow Mustang convertible in the homecoming parade. There wasn’t time to get a new dress, but that was OK, she said. Outfitted with a new wig (that was only a little itchy), armed with a dazzling smile and escorted by her father, Kelley was crowned before a packed stadium.

“I’m not used to getting all dressed up,” she said. “I’m more of a jeans and T-shirt kind of person, but it feels good to feel pretty.”

Straughn’s homecoming queen, Jordan Wood, also had some special circumstances. Click here to read her story.