Dying girl crowned prom princess

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A Wisconsin girl suffering from a rare genetic condition got a celebration fit for a princess as she prepares to enter hospice care. (KTRK)

We first met Jerika Bolen last week as she prepared for her prom, while also planning to die.

Bolen suffers from spinal muscular atrophy, a painful genetic disease that prevents her from using her muscles. Next month, she plans to stop the medical treatments that help keep her alive.

As Bolen approaches the end of her life, her friends and local businesses teamed up to throw Bolen the prom that she will never get to experience -- and the event exceeded even her greatest expectations.

"It makes my heart explode it's so crazy that people want to come for little old me," Bolen told WFRV-TV.

Decked out in a gown fit for a princess, Bolen arrived at the dance in a limo escorted by local police.

"We took a long route so she could enjoy it," Appleton Police Chief Todd Thomas said. "To support her before she goes."

Bolen and her mother enjoyed a prom court dance of sorts as Bolen proudly flashed her "Prom Princess" sash.

"I know my daughter is watching over," said Corey Mars, a party attendee who lost his daughter to spinal muscular atrophy. "Jerika is excited meet my daughter."
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