APPLETON, Wis. – A teen who plans on ending the care that keeps her alive danced the night away with strangers, after they came together to give her a night she’ll never forget.
14-year-old Jerika Bolen suffers from a terminal illness called spinal muscular atrophy, or SMA. She only has use of a few muscles and is in constant pain.
She recently made the decision to stop treatment for her disease, which ultimately will end her life.
Her dying wish was to celebrate prom with a few of her close friends. Her story went viral, and soon people across the country raised $32,000 for the prom.
“It makes my heart explode!” said Jerika. “It’s so crazy that people wanna come for little old me. I’m nothing!” Jerika told WLUK.
The prom was held on Friday, and more than 1,000 people showed up to dance the night away with Jerika, according to the Post-Cresent. Everything at the event was donated, including Jerika’s prom dress.
“It’s very poofy and very warm and it does not feel like me, but I love it. I feel awesome!” said Jerika.
She said she was feeling depressed about her situation, until she decided to make a change.
“I decided I needed to be, like, happy and strong. Or else, what’s worth even doing a prom or anything,” said Jerika. “And I decided to change my outlook.”
She hopes that her story helps spread awareness about her condition. She will enter hospice care next month.