In November, Kerry Huffaker was diagnosed with stage IV glioblastoma multiforme.“It’s the deadiest, most aggressive brain cancer you can get,” the Idaho Falls, Idaho-based mom tells Us Weekly Video. (Watch our video above to hear Huffaker tell her story.)
According to the American Brain Tumor Association, for adults with aggressive glioblastoma, who are treated with concurrent temozolamide and radiation therapy, median survival is about 14.6 months.
If and when the former crossing guard passes away, she will leave behind her beloved husband, Warren, 57, and their 17-year-old son, Dylan. “It’s hard not to think about the things that you’re going to miss,” Huffaker tells Us. “A few weeks ago, I asked Dylan, ‘Who is going to dance with you when the mom is supposed to dance with the son at his wedding?”
Days later, the high school senior surprised Huffaker at St. Luke’s Mountain States Tumor Institute, where she was receiving treatment. In his hands: a box filled with doughnuts that spelled out the words, “Will you go to prom with me?” (Doughnuts are the only food Huffaker can tolerate after chemotherapy. Watch the touching moment Dylan ask his mom to prom in the video above.)
“I got emotional and he got emotional,” Huffaker shares. “I said, ‘You don’t want to take your old, bald-headed mom to the prom!’ And he said, ‘Absolutely, I do. She’ll be the prettiest one there.’”
Huffaker has struggled with her self-image since losing her hair. “It took a couple of weeks before I could look in the mirror without seeing a monster,” she admits.
But on April 30 — the night of the Into the Woods–themed event — Huffaker was proud of her reflection. “He took both my hands in his hands and he said, ‘I’ve never, ever seen you look more beautiful than you do tonight, Mom,’” she says. “I’d never felt more beautiful in my entire life.”
Still, the most special part of the night was yet to come.
Unbeknownst to Huffaker, Dylan had arranged for the DJ to play Garth Brooks’ “The Dance,” so that he could dance with his mother at the Canyon Ridge High School prom. “All I could think about was that he had the emotion and the tenderness of coming up with this, so his mom could experience something that she’s not going to be here for,” gushes Huffaker. “It settled my heart, because I know I would probably get the same exact feeling if I had the opportunity to dance with him at his wedding. This was as close as I could have gotten.”
A family friend has set up a GoFundMe account to raise money for Huffaker’s medical bills and other expenses.
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