ORANGE (CBSLA.com) Proms are many things: A rite of passage, an important part of the high school experience, a reminder that school is drawing to a close, a great dance, the first step into adulthood.
Most people look back on the event with fond memories — with the possible exception of Carrie.
But most young cancer patients never get to experience the prom — period.
That wasn’t the case Saturday evening at Children’s Hospital of Orange County.
KCAL9’s Brittney Hopper was there for a prom that some kindhearted people put on for close to 100 young patients. It’s the 14th prom the hospital has thrown.
This night, patients, aged 14 to 19, got the chance to dance the night away.
Kayla Mella was diagnosed with a brain tumor when she was 7. She has spent most of her life at the hospital.
“To me in here I never had a bad time. I had people to talk to. And they have rooms to play around to not think about what’s happening. And the nurses and doctors they weren’t like nurses and doctors, they just seemed like friends,” says Mella, choking back a tear.
Kayla and other girls got their hair and makeup done by volunteers. There was also an area to get their nails done. This is Kayla’s first prom.
Many of the prom attendees have gone through cancer or are currently battling cancer.
Hopper also spoke to Christine Ianev, 16. This her second time going to this prom.
Last year it was a different story. This year she has more to celebrate since shes now cancer-free.
“Last year I was bald, still going through treatment, surgeries. Just a bunch of stuff that was crazy and here I’m done,” says Ianev.
Celebrities also volunteered their services to help put the prom together — like actress Kristen Bell and reality TV star and fashion designer Whitney Port.
“Prom is such a big part of girls’ lives and everyone should have that experience and everyone deserves to feel pampered and taken care of and feel special on that day,” says Port.
Other celebs — including Zac Efron, Jason Mraz, Elizabeth Banks and many more — taped special video messages of encouragement.