NewsLocal NewsIn Your NeighborhoodMcLennan County


Midway HS allows junior to attend senior prom as mom battles rare form of cancer

Posted at 4:10 PM, Mar 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-26 19:07:38-04

Mary Long was diagnosed with Neuroendocrine cancer in 2019.

It's a rare and aggressive form of cancer that started in her lungs and metastasized to her liver.

Because of this, Long is not sure when her last day will be but she knows it's soon.

"They said that it'll end up killing me and so at this point we're on chemo to give me as much time as I can," Long said.

Thankfully the chemo she is currently on is working in her favor, but 7 months ago she was told she had about three months to live.

With a big question mark on when her last day might be, she knew she'd be missing many important milestones in her daughter's life.

Her daughter Mackenzie Bewley is a junior and with the pandemic, Midway High School is only allowing seniors to attend prom this year.

Long knew there was a good chance she wouldn't be here to see her daughter go to prom so she reached out to Midway High School for an exception.

"This is like the only major event that my mom is really going to get to see," Bewley said. "So, for me it's not just prom, it's my prom and my graduation and my wedding and doing all things all wrapped up into one night."

Long sent an email to Midway High School at the beginning of February, got no response and sent another.

She was told they would have an answer for her in a week.

The winter storm came through and two weeks past before she sent another email.

There was still no response so after a month of trying, she took to Facebook.

"At that point I had some friends and they we're getting frustrated also," Long said.

With an army now behind her, they were able to receive the "yes" Long so desperately needed to hear.

"Something like this, for some people it's small but for us it's not because this could be the only large event that I'm able to do with her," Long said.

Bewley is excited to go to prom but for her this means more to her than dressing up for a night.

"Getting a prom dress and my hair, nails and makeup done and everything like that. The entire experience, just getting to do it with my mom," Bewley said.

If there is one thing Long has learned it's that life is short, and it's important to stay persistent when there's something you want.

"If it's something you really want and it's really important to be persistent and to keep on until you get an answer or get to where you need to be," Long said.

Long also says she's learned to never turn down a picture either.

After being diagnosed, she realized pictures are all her family will have left and it's those memories that will be remembered through a photo that can last longer than a lifetime.

That's why they'll be taking many photos of Bewley and her mom on prom night.

More than thankful to the district for allowing Bewley to attend Senior prom, this is a moment they'll cherish for the rest of their lives.

Members of the community have even stepped up to help Bewley with her hair and dress for prom.

The family also has a Go Fund Me for medical bills for Long.