FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - Multiple teens fighting several forms of cancer were able to enjoy an extravagant prom night, Friday.
For a group of students, ages 12 to 19, who are fighting the battle of their lives, A Prom to Remember made for a night to remember. Many of them couldn’t make it to their own proms, so instead, the dance floor was brought to them.
Before the night got started on Friday, everyone had to get ready with hair and makeup.
“I gotta do my makeup, as you can see,” said patient Sandy Hegeman. “Then I’ll put my dress on, and I’ll be ready to go. It’ll be really cool.”
Lucky for her — students from the Aveda Institute came to the hospital ahead of time and volunteered to make these girls look glamorous.
“It’s priceless. You can’t get paid a certain dollar amount for what it is that they’re doing,” said Lori Pfeifer from the Aveda Institute. “It’s a talent that they have inside them that they can give back.”
While getting dolled up, they looked forward to the night of fun. “Dancing with my friends, just having a good time,” said patient Josie Neira.
“I’m very much looking forward to being surrounded by a bunch of amazing, inspiring people who are all there to have a good time,” said Hegeman.
After everyone was dressed, it was time for the red carpet treatment at The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale for the big dance. Revelers were escorted into the venue by athletes, models and cheerleaders.
The experience even included on-camera interviews. 7News reporter Ann Kiel was on hand to find out who everyone was wearing.
Once inside, they got to laugh, dance, sing and enjoy each other’s company at the Candy Land-themed — away from hospital beds and equipment.
“These teens, they are in the hospital, they’re going through chemotherapy, radiation, you name it,” said Joe DiMaggio spokesperson Samantha Utter. “They’re here sometimes for months on end, so things like this really mean the most to them, and mean the most to their families.”
For some, it was a night of celebrating that their cancer is in remission. “Yeah, everything’s good. I’ve been in remission for six years now, so everything’s working out as planned,” said patient Victoria Mejia.
“A few months ago I finished my treatment,” said Melanie Mederos. “I was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, blood cancer, and that was two and a half years of treatment. I still go to the hospital every now and then, but everything’s been running smoothly.”
“It really does make a big difference for children who go through some really terrible things,” said Utter. “It’s something to look forward to, and something that gives them a really magical night.”
This is the eighth year A Prom to Remember has helped young cancer patients in South Florida. Joe DiMaggio’s Children Hospital teams up with with several other local organizations to make it possible.
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