Fourteen-year-old Jerika Bolen has an incurable disease called type two spinal muscular atrophy. Because of her illness, Jerika has never been able to walk, and her ability to move only gets worse. And it won’t be long before she can’t move at all.
But Jerika isn’t going to let it go that far. In August, she’ll get help to end her life. And until then, she had just one wish: to have her very own prom.
And last Friday, Jerika’s dream became a reality.
Jerika Bolen lives in Wisconsin and has a serious congenital disease that is slowly paralyzing her. Together with her family, Jerika has made the painful decision to end her life before the disease takes away what little movement Jerika has left.
But before she says goodbye to this world, Jerika wants to have her very own prom. She expressed this wish on social media and thousands of people were touched by it. Prom-goers came from several different states to attend it, and well-wishers donated $25,000 on GoFundMe to make Jerika’s night unforgettable.
The evening began when Jerika, dressed in a beautiful green dress, was picked up along with her mother in a 28-seat limousine. Seventeen cars made up the long procession that brought the family to the ballroom in Appleton, Wisconsin.
When the song “In My Daughter’s Eyes” came on, Jerika took her mother by the hand and danced the first dance.
During the prom, Jerika’s mother whispered, “I hope this is the best night of your life,” to her daughter, reports USA Today.
Jerika’s mother, Jen Bolen, has a very difficult time ahead of her. In only a few weeks, her daughter will end her life with euthanasia.
“I’m really trying hard not to fall apart right now. I have to be strong for her,” Jerika’s mother said.
Even Jerika’s friends are aware that she’s chosen to end her life.
“I know she’ll be with me. She’ll be an angel and she’ll look over me, because that’s what friends do, right?” said 13-year-old MacKenzie Falck.
As for Jerika, she was happy that so many people came to her prom.
“Thank you so much to everyone who came or even stopped by. It made life mean a lot,” Jerika said after the event.
Watch a video from Jerika’s beautiful prom here:
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