BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Music blasted at the Hard Rock Casino as friends and family gathered to celebrate a very special day for a very special boy. Sweet 16 birthday parties are always special, but it was a particularly great surprise for Kaleb Crump this evening.
The 16-year-old Gulfport High School student is battling cancer in his nervous system. The Make-A-Wish Foundation teamed up with Hard Rock Casino to surprise Kaleb with a birthday party that he will never forget.
Kaleb's actual birthday was on December 18, so he had no idea any of this was going to happen. He showed up dressed in his brand new birthday outfit that he got to pick out. He arrived at the casino thinking he was just having a small, quiet dinner with just his family. Little did he know, all of his friends were waiting in the next room to fulfill the "rich and famous sweet 16 party" of his dreams.
Nearly 100 of his closest friends gathered in Hard Rock Live, with rap music as entertainment, to celebrate what means so much to Kaleb but most people take for granted.
"My mom is like my backbone," said Kaleb Crump.
"My friends are too. They're with me every step. When I am going to my medical appointments, they are with me. Things like that."
With gifts galore including a Saints helmet and football signed by the players, and even a Saints cake, it really was the birthday of his dreams.
Kaleb's mother, Trinette Crump, said the party is just as special to her as it is to her son that has been through so much.
"It means a lot to me that Make-A-Wish is throwing a sweet 16 birthday party for Kaleb because Kaleb has been going through a lot over the last two years," said Trinette Crump.
"Kaleb has been sick and is receiving treatment at Tulane."
Thanks to everyone that came, he says the surprise meant more to him than he could express.