Sen'Derrick Marks' Prom Date Dies Due To Liver Cancer

Posted: May 24 2015, 11:57pm CDT | by , in News | Latest Sports News


Sen'Derrick Marks' Prom Date Dies Due to Liver Cancer
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  • Khameyea Jennings, Sen'Derrick Marks' prom date, passed away due to liver cancer on May 21.

Khameyea Jennings, the 18-year-old Jacksonville teen who was diagnosed with liver cancer in 2013 and was the prom date of Jacksonville Jaguars defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks earlier this month, died on May 22.

Khamayea Jennings, the prom date of Jacksonville Jaguars defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks, has passed away.

Wolfson Children's Hospital spokeswoman Cindy Hamilton confirmed Jennings' death on May 21 to Phillip Helman and Joe Daraskevich of The Florida Times-Union.

Jennings was diagnosed with liver cancer on Mother's Day 2013, per a separate Florida Times-Union update by Matt Soergel. 

Jennings was an 18-year-old student of Frank H. Peterson Academies of Technology. Soergel says Marks escorted her to her high school prom at Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens in the city's Northside on May 2. Jennings was "radiant in a long white dress with a bejeweled bodice," per The Florida Times-Union

Soergel says Marks visited Jennings at the hospital on April 29. He gave her a bouquet of flowers and asked her to go to her prom with him. 

"I talked with your mom; she said it was OK," Marks told Jennings. "And I heard you had a prom this weekend and I wanted to know if I could take you to (the) prom?"

Jennings agreed although she told the Jaguars defensive lineman she wasn't so sure if she can dance as she gets tired easily, per Soergel. 

"She said this is a day to be normal," her mother, Laquandra Jennings, told The Florida Times-Union. "Not to have to worry about needles, chemo, potassium levels. Just a day to be a teenager and to enjoy the prom." 

The younger Jennings initially had planned on going to the prom with her 17-year-old sister, Mikhaela. However, an invitation from a Jacksonville Jaguars player was too good to pass up on.

"I know nothing about sports, but I like him," Jennings told Soergel. 

It was Dreams Come True of Jacksonville which asked the Jaguars if any of their players was willing to be Jennings' prom date. Marks "jumped at the chance," per The Florida Times-Union. 

"I really want to make a difference," Marks told Soergel. "I want to do something where you actually make someone's day, to make a difference in someone's life." 

On the day of the prom, Marks held a tiara and a small gift box containing a necklace which his fiancee, Rayan White, helped open while he was escorting Jennings with his other hand. 

Jennings did not wear the necklace but she did wear the tiara, per Soergel. 

Marks and Jennings posed for pictures as soon as a DJ announced their arrival. Mikhaela wore a burgundy gown and also posed together with the couple, per The Florida Times-Union. 

Soergel says after the photo session was over, Jennings walked to entrance before she sat on a wheelchair. Marks took off his jacket and put it on her shoulders as he pushed the wheelchair into the prom venue.

Jennings' fellow students cheered and clapped as she and Marks made their way in. She covered her face with her hands, which hid a big smile. 

Laquandra Jennings told Soergel her daughter graduated from high school in December. She was able to finish her secondary studies thanks to her determination, even studying on her hospital bed. 

As for Marks, a second-round pick of the Tennessee Titans, the 2015 NFL season will be his third with the Jaguars. He tore his ACL late last year which resulted in him having to undergo knee surgery, per Soergel. 

Friends and family members offered their condolences to Jennings on her Facebook page in the aftermath of her passing, per The Florida Times-Union

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The Author

Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.




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