Abby Cano, a Leander High School senior and Downs Syndrome student, says she will always remember when Keilany Solano gave her a hug at the 2017 prom. But if she forgets, the prom queen tiara that Solano also passed on to her will be a reminder.
“The crown is on my dresser. Every time I look at it I feel happy,” Cano says.
Their class peers nominated both girls and three others for the highest honor, Prom Queen, of the April 9 high school fete held at the Doubletree Hilton in Austin. After a counting of ballots, Solano’s name was the one called, but she conceded the title to Cano.
Solana, accompanied by Daniel Lightsey, her boyfriend of two years, recalls, “We were lined up with our dates, and they called Daniel’s name first for prom king and then my name. I had the crown on for about five seconds and turned around and put it on Abby.
“My inner self just did it. I made Abby happy, and that made me happy. I will probably always remember her sitting at the front of the venue afterward,” she says.
Neither girl had thought much about the award before the event, saying they were just looking forward to having a good time.
They took care in preparing, though, with manicures and pedicures on their to-do list, as well as time for makeup and hair care, not to mention choosing the right dress.
Lightsey had crafted an impressive invitation to Solano, making a long banner, vertically lettering the question “Prom?” and hanging it outside his house from an apex of the roof. With appreciation, Solano flashes a photo of it from her phone.
Cano says her boyfriend and date, Jeffrey Miner, “just asked me.”
A grand gesture awaited her too, however, as later Solano laid the tiara on her head. “I can’t think about it. It makes me cry. I was really happy and thrilled. When my mom saw the crown, she was really happy,” Cano says.
The following Monday, Cano wore the diadem and sash to school.
Also later, some of Solano’s friends declared that 2017 should be the year of two LHS prom queens and surprised her with a second coronation. This time, she was overwhelmed. “It was so nice of them to do that. I was so surprised I was crying,” Solano says.
Noting that her friends initially put her name on the ballot, Solano says, “It was an honor to be nominated. I knew though it would mean a lot to Abby. It just makes more sense to me to make someone else happy too.”