Photos: 6th Grader Becomes UniverSoul Circus Ring Master for Make-a-Wish
A Special Wish Foundation is a non-profit, charitable organization dedicated to granting the wishes of children under the age of 21 who have been diagnosed with a life-threatening disorder.
Meet Daelon Kelly, a 6th grader at Roxboro Middle School. In February of 2015, he was diagnosed with lymphatic cancer in stages 1, 2 and 3. Kelly lost vision in his left eye and even suffered a stroke. His vision will return as the swelling in his brain subsides. As of February 2016, Kelly's cancer has gone into remission but the side effect of his chemo treatments include nerve damage in his legs, making it difficult to stand for long periods of time.
The Universoul Circus hasn't been to Cleveland in three years but in conjunction with A Special Wish, Daelon's dream of being a Ringmaster for a day became a reality.
Kelly and his family were picked up by limousine and greeted by some of the performers in the circus and welcomed by Ringmaster Tony Tone upon their arrival. The VIP treatment continued with front row seats and more interactions with the cast.
When it was Daelon's time to be in the spotlight, he relished it -- leading the crowd in a call and response. "When I say big top, you say circus," Kelly beckoned. The audience willfully obliged. Other highlights of the afternoon included Daelon's mother, Yvette Kelly participating in a Soul Train dancing line and magic tricks by Onionhead the Clown.
As magical as the afternoon was, the family is still struggling with the medical bills that have accumulated as Daelon is treated. Yvette was forced to quit her full time cleaning job to take care of her son, but still operated her own Grime Time cleaning business and if anyone wishes to make a charitable donation, those can be made at any Key Bank location under "Benevolent Account for Daelon Kelly."
Photos courtesy of Emanuel Wallace