Children's Hospital Hosts Prom for Teen Patients: 'No One's Going to Judge You'

Many of the patients never got a chance to attend their own prom due to illness.

Not everyone at this prom can walk, but they sure love to dance.

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Past and present patients of Duke Children’s Hospital in Durham, N.C., were invited to attend a prom over the weekend held in the facility.

Many of them never got a chance to attend their own school dances because they were too ill, or they never got a chance to know their classmates due to so many school absences.

“It’s hard sometimes having disabilities,” said Kelly, one of the girls attending the hospital’s prom. “You don’t know how people react but everyone here is so amazing and so accepting. I just love it. I don’t feel different.”

In a video produced by the hospital, kids can be seen dancing, enjoying snacks and taking pictures in the photo booth while in wheelchairs or connected to an IV or a feeding tube.

“No one’s going to judge you,” said Josh, another patient attending the prom. “’Oh, you have cancer,’ or, ‘Oh you can’t walk.’ Everyone’s just out there dancing and having fun.”

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Medical staff and student volunteers from Duke University lingered around the dance floor to make sure everything went according to plan, and parents of patients stayed close in a lounge nearby.

“It was just a great opportunity for a lot of kids to come into a building that sometimes isn’t the most fun place to visit but have a lot of fun and share some experiences with folks who are in the same situation,” said prom organizer Professor George Grody.

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