Butler County boy with rare illness crowned prom king

11-year-old fighting rare illness crowned prom king

POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KFVS) - A Butler County community came together Saturday to give a young boy a very special surprise.

Eleven-year-old Markell McDaniels of Harviell, Missouri is battling somewhat of a mystery illness. It's hurting his lungs and the medication he has to take to fight it is weakening his bones.

"He missed his whole fourth grade year. He was pretty bad off," said McDaniels' mother, Angela Roper. "He has an undiagnosed lung disease. It's rare, it's not textbook. We've been fighting the battle. "

Since 2011, McDaniels has spent much of his childhood at Cardinal Glennon Hospital. The treatments for his disorder have weakened his bones, leaving him with multiple fractures in his spine.

Bottom line, the sixth grader doesn't know how long he'll be able to dance, and his wish is to have that one perfect high school moment, dancing at the prom.

"He's had a few wishes, but the one he's stuck with is to have a Candyland prom for his sixth grade class," Roper said.

The Poplar Bluff Masonic Lodge got word of McDaniels' wish and as it was officially being considered by the Make A Wish Foundation, the Masons decided to create a prom night for McDaniels.

Saturday, McDaniels was named Prom King at the third annual Poplar Bluff Masonic Youth Father-Daughter Ball.

"I'm just really excited, I've never been to anything like this before. I've never even rode in a limo before," McDaniels said. "Having all of this is something I would never have dreamed of – maybe in my wildest dream I ever had."

Just when it seemed that dream couldn't get any better, a beautiful princess joined prom king McDaniels for a dance.

Chloe Rowland, McDaniels' princess, has an older brother Robert who has Duchenne's Muscular Dystrophy who also had a wish granted by Make a Wish six years ago.

"I was thinking try not to trip and fall," McDaniels said.

He didn't trip, or fall - just glided across the dance floor leaving memories of hospital beds, medications and doctors behind.

"On a scale of 1-10, this was an 11," McDaniels said.

Roper said with winter and flu season just around the corner, McDaniels' lung condition will likely put him back in the hospital, but hopefully not until after the Make A Wish Candyland Prom planned for his Naylor School friends in November.

Download the KFVS News app: iPhone | Android

Copyright 2015 KFVS. All rights reserved.