Teen's last wish was to go to prom; her community made it happen

Posted at 5:33 AM, Jul 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-26 08:40:43-04

"It's so crazy that people want to come for little ol' me," Jerika Bolen said.

According to Newsy's partners at WTMJ, 1,000 people came out to grant Jerika Bolen's final wish: a prom celebration. 

The 14-year-old has made the difficult decision to end her life. She has spinal muscular atrophy Type 2. Bolen spends 12 hours a day on a ventilator.

"I'm always in usually an 8 or 10 — 8 to 10 out of (10) pain," Bolen said. 

"I said, 'Jerika, I love you that much that I will not let you suffer,'" said Jerika's mother, Jen. "'Mom will find a way to be OK.'" 

Bolen will stop using her ventilator next month, but she wasn't focusing on that at her prom.

"She's feeling very loved, and it's amazing," her childhood friend Mackenzie Falck said.

Bolen's Wisconsin community came together to make the prom possible. According to Newsy's partners at WGBA, people donated food, and local police and firefighters gave Bolen's limo an escort to her party.

"I thought it was going to be low-key, but this is really awesome," Bolen said.