Prom is the closest thing teens in high school get to a fairy tale evening, and Upper Darby High School senior Clarence "CJ" Dorsey and his friend, Jennifer Cassidy, weren't going to have their night any other way.
That's why the Pennsylvania teens, who both have a genetic condition called Down Syndrome, celebrated their prom in a totally elaborate and magical way.
CJ's mom, Janai Bell, knew her son and his date deserved something special. After all, the two had been best friends since the 8th grade. "I wanted to make a big deal about his prom, so I said 'How can I do it big?'" she told Philadelphia Daily News. "I said 'Horse and carriage! That's the way to go.'"
And so, with the help of the Upper Darby Police Department, the teens entered their special night in true royal fashion.
Though they weren't chosen as prom king and queen, they were given "prince" and "princess" sashes to make the night feel even more special.
According to Bell, her son is a bright kid who works hard and plays hard. "He's an advanced yellow belt in karate, he works one day a week at Delaware County Memorial Hospital, he's graduating on the 16th, and he's an all-around lovable person," she told 6abc.
The high schoolers' story was so special, in fact, that it caught the attention of local media outlets who watched their night unfold.
As of today, The 6abc post about them has over 16,000 likes and touched many people. One commenter wrote: "As a social worker and family counselor, I have worked with many families with extenuating circumstances. It is so nice to see the focus placed on these beautiful young people and that have the right to experience all the joys of high school and prom. This will be a memory forever."
Watch the story here:
Of course, kids with Down Syndrome attend proms all the time, but this story brings hope and awareness that those with special needs are capable of living out fairy tales too.
In the video above, Bell puts it perfectly: "It doesn't matter if you're black, white, Down syndrome, special needs, anything — everybody should be as one. My son is like that, he's lovable. He doesn't care if someone is fat, skinny, black, white — he just loves everybody and he just wants to be included like everybody else."
That they did.
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