Even a brain cyst the size of a lemon can’t keep Daelani Holmes down.

By Abigail Haddock

Daelani Holmes is an 11-year-old student at Marathon Middle School. After seeming to recover from a sinus infection, she began having headaches that could last over three weeks. At first she tried to continue living her normal life, but one day, Daelani told her parents that the headaches were getting more severe, and something wasn’t right.

Her father, Trae Holmes – or as you probably know him, “DJ Trae Dae” – knew if Daelani was reaching out like that, this was serious. 

“I immediately had Lani picked up and taken to the ER,” he said. “After her visit, in less than 30 minutes, before we could even get home, the doctor called us and said it was way more serious than anyone had thought.”

Daelani’s CT scan showed a 6.5-centimeter cyst had developed on her brain as a complication from the sinus infection. For those trying to visualize: that’s about the size of a lemon.

Immediately the family headed up to Miami, and Daelani prepared for emergency brain surgery on Christmas Eve. 

“By the grace of God, the surgery was a success,” said Trae. “She’s here, and she’s recovering.” 

Daelani spent eight days in the hospital and is on an eight-week recovery plan. She is still on an intravenous line for antibiotics, but is healing well so far. She continues to have weekly followups in Miami to ensure her continuing recovery. 

When speaking with the Weekly about the experience, both Trae and his wife Sherry expressed the impact the Marathon community had on their family during the sudden emergency. 

“When they say it takes a village, it really does,” said Sherry. “The community has been so incredible with the love and support, bringing dinners and just being there for us and making sure we’re okay. We had so many churches praying with us; we’re so thankful and grateful.”

“We have all the gratitude; it’s pouring over,” added Trae. “We try to do our best, and I believe in karma and being a good person. People have really supported us in this tough time, and we can’t thank them enough. We are so blessed by the prayers and well wishes, and we have seen countless acts of kindness.”

On Saturday, Jan. 28 from 1 to 5 p.m., there will be a fundraiser carnival event for Daelani and the Holmes family, hosted by Brutus Seafood at 6950 Overseas Hwy. There will be food, beverages, live music and bounce houses for kids, and donations raised will help support the family’s medical bills. 

“We thrive as a community because we come together for our community,” owner Elise Mucha said in a Facebook post. “A family that is part of our Brutus family, our friends and neighbors, are in need of our support.”

The Holmes also have a GoFundMe set up to help as well.