Prom night for a young girl with terminal illness

Posted at 10:59 AM, Jul 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-22 13:33:05-04

APPLETON, Wis. (AP) -- Family and friends are preparing a banquet hall in Appleton for a summer prom on behalf of a 14-year-old girl with a terminal disease.

Hundreds of people are expected to attend the party at the Grand Meridian Friday night celebrating the life of Jerika Bolen. She plans to arrive by limo with a police escort. The banquet room has already been decked out with paper lanterns, tablecloths, flower arrangements and party favors.

The teen has decided to stop fighting her terminal disease called spinal muscular atrophy type 2. She plans to soon disconnect from a ventilator that keeps her alive.

Jerika's story, first reported by The Post-Crescent, has been shared around the world. Letters, cards and gifts have poured in. Jerika and her mother say they wanted to share the story to raise awareness for the disease.