Girl, 14, who has chosen to end her life shares final dance with her mom at prom
This Wisconsin teen suffering from a painful and incurable disease has decided to end her life, but not without one final dance.
Jerika Bolen, 14, of Appleton suffers from spinal muscular atrophy type 2.
As a result, she has been confined to an electric wheelchair most of her life. Her brain function is sharp, but every day movements like swallowing or breathing have become impossible on her own.
Many people with her disease live well into adulthood, but after many failed surgeries and constant pain, Jerika decided she would end her life by the end of August, but it is her wish to go out in style.
Last weekend, Jerika donned a gorgeous emerald dress with matching lipstick, and celebrated her prom with nearly 1,000 friends, family and supporters from around the country.
"It was very overwhelming," her mom, Jen Bolen said to InsideEdition.com. "Everywhere we turned, she was a little celebrity."
In preparation for the event, Bolen said the community helped with the planning and donated supplies, including the venue and decorations.
A fleet of police officers escorted her to the big event, a dance team performed on stage, and her favorite YouTuber Richie Giese even made a surprise appearence.
"I think she had a lot of fun," her mom said. "Just seeing everyone there for her — nothing but love."
See more from Jerika's prom:
After a touching last dance with her daughter, which was Bolen's highlight of the night, she told InsideEdition.com that it was just a reminder of what little time her daughter has on Earth.
"Now that prom is over, I know that the time is getting closer," Bolen said, but she continues to support her daughter's decision to turn off her ventilator, a vital piece of equipment keeping her alive. "That's the only way I'm going to be able to move on with my life — knowing that I'm letting her out of this suffering."
August is Spinal Muscular Awareness month. To find out more about the disease, visit www.curesma.org.