Cancer survivor, 6-year-old Keely Waterman, of Brighton, crowned Colorado's princess

DENVER - Today, Colorado has a princess.

Friday is "Princess Keely Day," by degree of Gov. John Hickenlooper, in honor of 6-year-old cancer survivor Keely Waterman, of Brighton.

"I've always wanted to be a princess," she said during her coronation ceremony in the Brown Palace Hotel.

"She's spent the whole day and preceding days being fitted for dresses," explained Scott Esmond, chairman of the board for Make-A-Wish Colorado.

"It means a lot to me," Keely said. "It's just really special."

Her highness suffers from a Wilms' tumor, a cancer of the kidneys.

"This is an incredible experience for our family," said a tearful Kristy Waterman, Keely's mom. "You don't always realize it, as you're going through the day-to-day of surviving cancer, how much it takes out of you."

After her coronation, Keely was taken in a limousine to The Ritz-Carlton, Denver, where additional admirers awaited with signs and flowers.

In her first official act, Colorado's new princess will be starting the Oyster Race Saturday. It is an urban adventure race scheduled to begin at 8 a.m., and she will also act as a judge for part of the competition.

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