Teen asks 8-year-old neighbor battling cancer to prom

An 8-year-old Georgia boy is getting the chance to attend senior prom a decade early after his neighbor, who considers him her superhero, asked him to the big dance. Alex Richards, who is battling cancer for the third time, will escort Shelby Butler to prom on Saturday after accepting her flashcard promposal, MyFoxAtlanta.com reported.

Alex, of Barrow County, was initially diagnosed with cancer when he was 4 and received a bone marrow transplant from his sister, but the cancer cells recently returned.

“I see what he goes through. He never stops fighting, he has always been kind of a hero to me, a role model to never stop giving up,” Butler told MyFoxAtlanta.com. “I want him to be able to get out and have fun, and not be stuck somewhere in one place.”

She came up with the idea to ask Alex, whom she considers a brother, with flashcards that compared him to Batman and Superman.

Her flashcards read: “Superman is cool because he has X-ray vision. Superman is cool because he scales tall buildings. Batman is cool because he drives the fanciest car on the planet. Alex is cool because he never stops fighting. I would like my superhero Alex to be my date to the prom."

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Alex checked off the “yes” box and was presented with a suit to match Butler’s dress.

“I think it will mean more to him when he gets older and looks back on it,” Sheri Richards, Alex’s mom, told MyFoxAtlanta.com. “Right now it is going to be a fun thing, but when he gets older and looks back on it, it is going to have a bigger impact on him.”