High School Senior Battling Rare Blood Disorder Is Thrown 'Great Gatsby'-Themed Prom
"The [prom] that I did have was a lot more special," said 18-year-old Corinne Bass, whose recent bone marrow transplant compromised her immune system.
A Michigan high school senior had the time of her life at her own Great Gatsby-themed prom last month, even though the milestone event was held at a hospital where she is being treated for a rare blood disorder.
Corinne Bass, 18, of Mount Pleasant, is battling aplastic anemia and had to miss her high school’s senior prom after a bone marrow transplant forced her to remain in isolation at the Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, a two-and-a-half hour drive from her hometown.
“When I knew I was going to be missing [prom], that was kind of sad to me,” she told InsideEdition.com.
Realizing how important the milestone was to the graduating senior, a teacher at the hospital, Sarah Smith, wanted to help make her high school experience as normal as possible and pulled together resources to throw a prom right there in the hospital facility.
Inspired by the teen’s love for the Roaring 20s, the prom drew inspiration from The Great Gatsby when it was held on March 15.
"I just like how joyful the time was," Bass said. "It was just a good time for a lot of people."
On the big day, Bass was picked up by a 1949 Cadillac limousine donated by a local car museum, and she and her mom were taken on a joyride around town before arriving at another building within the hospital, which had been transformed to reflect the theme.
“They had a red carpet waiting out there,” she recalled. “And everybody was dressed up in suits and ties. I was greeted with all my doctors and nurses in 1920s attire.”
Although Bass’ friends from school couldn’t make it due to her compromised immune system following her bone marrow transplant, she said her hospital prom helped her come to terms with missing senior milestones at her school, including prank day and skip day.
“I can accept it, and I’m okay with it,” she explained. “I think the [prom] that I did have was a lot more special and way more memorable than one I would have had at a typical senior prom.”
Bass’ journey with her health began the summer before her junior year in high school, when she woke up with red spots up and down her legs. After several tests, doctors at Spectrum Health diagnosed her with the rare blood disorder.
“I was scared for most of 2015,” she explained. “But, in the back of your mind, you know that pretty much whatever comes up, the doctors have a plan for it.”
She ended up spending most of the year in the hospital, and when she was allowed to go home, Bass said there were still many things she couldn’t do.
“My immune system was suppressed so I wasn’t allowed to go out and do typical things like go to the beach or hang out with my friends without worrying about getting sick,” Bass explained. “If I got sick, my body wouldn’t be able to fight it off.”
Doctors are now hopeful the most recent bone marrow transplant will help Bass live a normal life. She is set to be lifted from isolation in July, and will attend Central Michigan University for film in September.
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