For 16-year-old Duncanville ISD student Deuntae the day started like any other.
“I went to school, Art, English II, and a meeting about the school newspaper,” said Deuntae. However, during the day things got exciting. When he was called out of his classroom just after 11:30, he was met by his fellow students, the band, his family, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation of North Texas.
Deuntae is diagnosed with, and is battling, pineoblastoma, a rare and potentially life-threatening brain tumor.
After his big send-off at the Mary E. Smithey PACE Learning Center, Deuntae was taken by limousine to his favorite restaurant, Razzoo’s.
“I couldn’t eat much, and I usually eat a lot when I go there,” said Deuntae.
After lunch the limousine drove he and his family to the Macy’s at Northpark Mall in Dallas where he was met by television cameras, the red carpet, balloons, and store employees waiting to greet him. Macy’s manager Becky Brockey personally greeted him and introduced him to the employees that would be assisting him. Seen throughout the stores were signs welcoming Deuntae to the store and calling him “Dallas’ best dressed man!”
Ralph Lauren is Deuntae’s favorite designer and Make-A-Wish, Macy’s and some first-time Wish Granters teamed up for a shopping spree.
After the brief introductions, it was time to get busy. First, Deuntae dropped off hundreds of letters to Santa’s “Believe” mailbox.
The “Believe” campaign is Macy’s holiday season-long effort that elevates the message of goodwill and generosity through an uplifting campaign to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Through December 24, everyone across the country can drop off letters – stamped and addressed to Santa At The North Pole – at Macy’s Santa Mail letterbox. For each letter received, Macy’s will donate $1 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation up to $1 million.
After dropping off the letters, he held his first press conference and thanked the Make-A-Wish Foundation and his Wish Granters.
“It’s so amazing that I get to be a celebrity for a day. It’s so exciting,” says Deuntae. “I want to say thank, thank you again, and thank you times three. This is the best Christmas, and a day I will remember forever.”
LaDarrell, Deuntae’s father, proudly looked at his son, and Deuntae noticed a tear rolling down his father’s cheek. “You crying already daddy,” asked Deuntae. He was assured that it was tears of happiness.
Deuntae was then led to his personal dressing room, complete with a red star with his name, and met with his personal stylist from Macy’s, Willie Williams. Williams had already selected several outfits for Deuntae to start with, including jackets, pants, shirts, wallets and shoes.
While Deuntae was looking over the clothes, his father explained a little of what Deuntae had gone through.
“When we first found out, it was difficult. He’s gone through chemo and radiation and he has beat that. He’s got a few other things to face, but we’ll beat those too,” said LaDarrell.
Watching on with everyone was first-time Wish Granters Kyle and Katy Miller of Dallas.
“We have always admired the work of Make-A-Wish,” said Katy Miller. “Deuntae is such a wonderful kid.”
After looking over the selections made by Williams, Deuntae was taken to the second floor, through the Ralph Lauren area, and through the Levi jeans where he made selections to take back to his dressing room to try on.
After visiting Macy’s, a trip to the Ralph Lauren store in Northpark Mall was still on the schedule.
Deuntae’s day started out normally, but a lot of people came together to make sure he ended it as “Dallas’ Best Dressed Man.”
-Story courtesy of Keith Bilbrey, MyDuncanville.com
|National Wish Stories|