Jerika Bolen’s story swept the nation when she made the decision to end her life by pulling the plug on her ventilator in late August. The fourteen-year-old Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) patient wanted the summer to spend and enjoy her remaining time with her friends and family and even go to a prom. That prom, called J’s Last Dance, was held this past weekend where she was crowned prom queen and even got to meet her favorite YouTube star.
The Bolen family created a GoFundMe page to raise $25,000 to help pay for the prom to offset expenses in Jerika’s final days. The dance hall in Appletone, Wisconsin was decorated in lime green and black, Jerika's favorite colors. As Jerika took the dance floor, friends surrounded her ensuring that this was the best night ever for her. With a unanimous vote, Jerika was deemed prom queen and the night was all about her.
Jerika’s favorite band, New District, recorded a video message to Jerika that was played on a big screen during the prom, and moments after, they engaged Jerika in a brief video chat. What more could you want at a prom filled with friends, dancing, video chatting your favorite band and becoming prom queen? Well, not only did she dance with her friends, she also got to meet and dance with her idol. Her favorite YouTube star, Richie Giese who goes by Social Repose on YouTube, flew in from D.C. to meet Jerika to make her night that much more special.
As midnight arrived and the lights went on and the banquet hall began to empty, Jerika’s friends and family’s emotions began to sadden. The reality of what's to come began to settle in. Prom planning had helped take their mind off their loved ones coming death. And the last song eventually stopped playing.
Jerika received a night no one could ever forget, it truly was a prom to remember.