Thursday, May 8, 2008
– Chris Cagle is well past the age of going to a high school prom. Well, that was until last week when he made one ill high schooler's dream come true. Cagle accompanied Danielle "Bella" Romeo to the prom held this past weekend in Victoria Texas.
"Bella is an extraordinary young lady," Cagle said. Since the age of 13, Romeo has suffered from a rare seizure disorder. "This is not just one rare illness, the doctors say Bella 'endures a rainbow of seizures' and the cause is unknown - unidentified," Cagle said.
A patient at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., Romeo's life-threatening condition is being reviewed a team of 50 neurologists. Her treatments have caused her to gain weight; she cannot drive, nor attend public school. Romeo and her mother were introduced to Cagle at a benefit concert (October 2007) by the event chairpersons, Jim Babcock and Anna-Leigh London. (Cagle trains and boards his horses at the Babcock Ranch in Texas.) "Bella was so weakened by the lights, she could not make it through the entire show," Cagle said. "My heart went out to her."
On May 3, Cagle accompanied the 17 year-old, 10th grader to the junior/senior prom. (The high school made a special exception for her to attend.) Bella wore a pink strapless custom-made, one-of-a-kind, ball gown and Cagle wore a suit jacket designed by Manuel. "Chris, a gentlemen we hardly know, took my child by the arm, and I could see it in his eyes, his honor in the moment," Bella's mom, Nipal Corder, said. "This is a 'forever' moment for my daughter and a blessing not only to her, but our entire community. The community's response to this man's kindness has been overwhelming. I believe Chris Cagle was a gift in our lives, I believe he blessed this child and our community who has embraced this story. He's given strength and unity to me and Bella and our entire community."
The evening ended with a limo drive home. Cagle's single "Wal-Mart Parking Lot" is now on the ballot to be considered as the graduating senior theme song. "Danielle was the 'Belle' of the ball, and I thank her for an unforgettable evening and the honor," Cagle said.