Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A Texas student was posthumously crowned homecoming king on Friday by his friends and fellow classmates.
Nick Peters, 17, was elected at Harlingen High School just days after he lost his 7-year fight against cancer.
“It was a big surprise and it made my heart full that young people put their own wants [aside],” mom Judi Peters of Harlingen, Texas, told ABC News. “I don’t know who would’ve wanted the king spot, but they sacrificed it so Nick could have it. It just made me proud.”
Nick was diagnosed with leukemia in October 2009 when he was 10 years old.
He began treatments but relapsed twice, and later underwent a bone marrow transplant from his sister Ashley, who was his donor, in April 2016, his mother said.
Nick suffered from complications due to the transplant and died Oct. 3 at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston.
Peters described her son as a “funny guy” who loved making deals through his at-home baking business and most recently, creating apps.
“He still had about seven apps in the app store — mostly emojis, different fonts and keyboards for your iPhone,” she said. “It was his dream to own a Lamborghini and move to New York after graduating. That was him. He’d look out for everyone else’s welfare. Even in ICU, every day the nurses would come in and he’d say, ‘Good morning, did you have a good breakfast today? Make sure you take care of yourself.’
Due to his illness, Nick missed out on his freshman year, sophomore year and the second half of junior year in high school.
“Even doing all that, he was No. 10 of his graduating class of 600 kids,” Peters said.
Ahead of his high school’s homecoming kickoff, Nick’s friend Norman Torres, a senior, called Peters to inform her his efforts in trying to name her son king.
“Norman called me and said, ‘Hey, we’re going to get Nick elected king and we are telling everybody,'” Peters recalled.
On Oct. 7, Nick Peters was announced as Harlingen High’s homecoming king for 2016.
Torres accepted the crown on his late friend’s behalf before presenting it to Nick’s younger brother, Noah, 12.
Nick’s mom and siblings were in attendance.
“I think he would’ve been embarrassed to be king,” Peters said of her son, with a laugh. “He didn’t like lots of attention on himself. Of course, he would’ve thought the [gesture] was really cool. He’d be completely amazed at how many people have come together honoring him in so many different ways.”
Nick’s sister Ashley Peters, 20, said she heard Nick had a great chance to win.
“Norman has quite a voice at the school, so I think he played a pretty big part in getting Nick nominated,” Ashley told ABC News. “As word spread, they did it as a senior class. It was a very special and emotional moment for us because Nick, he wasn’t with us anymore. I know some people think that’s what life’s about — winning homecoming king, or homecoming queen, but for them to honor his legacy like that was a very selfless thing to do.”
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