Students Crown Teen Girl With Rare Brain Disorder As Homecoming Queen

She got her wish in a big way.

MichaelAnn Byrne is an 18-year-old student at Cumberland Valley High School in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. She suffers from beta-propeller protein-associated Neurodegeneration (BPAN), which prohibits her from walking or talking.

"It's excessive iron on the brain and there's around 50 people worldwide who have it," MichaelAnn's mother Sherry Byrne said to ABC 27. "It'll progress where she gets Parkinson's characteristics and Alzheimer's characteristics."

Going into her senior year in high school, MichaelAnn only wanted one thing in the entire world.


To make 100 friends.

It's no easy task for a teen girl who can only communicate with motions and facial expressions.

In August, the Make-A-Wish Foundation approved her, and helped her with her goal of making 100 friends by sending country music superstar Brad Paisley to her high school.

The students nominated MichaelAnn for homecoming queen.

"We wanted to help make her wish come true," Melanie McCormick, a student on the homecoming court said to PennLive. "So when the kids were asking around, about who we should nominate, we said, "Let's vote for MichaelAnn.' We thought it would be awesome to put her on the court."

Sherry Byrne finally received the phone call from the school informing her that her daughter was voted homecoming queen.

"I, of course, started crying," she said to ABC.

MichaelAnne was escorted by her father onto the football field during the homecoming ceremony.

"We were all standing on the field. It was the moment we were all waiting for," McCormick said to PennLive. "I was so happy that she got homecoming queen. One of the other girls on the court was crying, she was so happy for MichaelAnn."

After the homecoming ceremony, MichaelAnn's mom wrote on Facebook that her daughter was still up at one in the morning giggling and that she was "surprised at how much making homecoming queen has meant to her."

MichaelAnn was also invited to another girl's house to get ready for the big Homecoming Dance.

"It's nothing you would ever expect when you're the father of a child with this type of disability; that this kind of thing would ever happen," her father, Greg Byrne, said to ABC 27. "To see people accept her and welcome her into the community is more than we could ever hope for."

(H/T: ABC News)


Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest news and exclusive updates.