I can’t stop crying at this one:
Pain medications have taken their toll on (14 year old) Jerika, and the prognosis is that her body will soon lose the little function it has. She had spinal muscular atrophy type 2. The disease destroys nerve cells in the brain stem and spinal cord that control voluntary muscle activity, and a lack of movement causes the muscles to waste away.
Jerika has never walked, and she said her pain is a seven on a scale of one to 10 on her best days. She can speak and has some movement of her hands, but the disease — and the pain — are only going to get worse.
Earlier this summer, with the support of her ever-dedicated mother, Jen, she decided that, while she can still make her desires known, she will move to hospice, unhook her ventilator and die.
But first, they agreed, there would be one more summer. And Jerika, a tech-savvy teen with a punk attitude and a love of alternative music, had a final wish — a special prom, a dance party for friends and family to dress in their “fancy” clothes and celebrate one more time....
Dubbed “J’s Last Dance,” she took to the dance floor Friday night as a steady stream of well-wishers flooded into the Grand Meridian ballroom in Appleton to say goodbye to a girl whose attitude in the face of heartbreaking misery has been inspirational.
An earlier background story:
A reminder that we are lucky/ privileged just to be alive. Peace.