Children’s Hospital Colorado puts on special prom for patients

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DENVER — Dozens of teens unable to attend their own prom got to be part of a special event at Mile High Station on Friday night.

For every 16-year old, there are key moments, events that mark growing up.

For 16-year-old Elizabeth Blue-Norton, those milestones have been marred by obstacles. Today, she’s not letting obstacles get in the way.

“We have prom tonight. … I’m super excited,” Blue-Norton said.

This is a different prom than what the average teen might see.

“It really helps you feel like a normal kid getting to do stuff like this,” Elizabeth said.

Elizabeth is far from normal.

“She is a very inspirational person,” said Emily Edlynn, program director for Medical Day Treatment, a program with Children’s Hospital Colorado.

Added registered nurse Michael Dunkle: “One of the coolest things I’ve really seen with Elizabeth is nothing really sets her back.”

For Elizabeth, preparing for the big dance means hair, nails and makeup.  Pampering for a day she once thought she’d never see.

“When I was 11, I had bone cancer and when I was 14 I had skin cancer.  I’ve had like over 50-some surgeries,” she said as she sat in the makeup chair getting her makeup done.

This is a day years in the making.  Elizabeth is cancer free and healthy enough to attend her school’s prom.  Elizabeth attends school at Children’s Hospital Colorado and it’s the hospital that put on the prom.

For Elizabeth and 70 of her peers, it’s one night where kids facing long-term illness get to laugh, dance, sing and forget their worries and illness away.

“Illness doesn’t stop life.  So these kids still go to school, they still go to the movies. Great example tonight they are going to prom so it’s really inspiring,” Dunkle said.

“The coolest thing that happened this year,” Elizabeth said.

This is the ninth prom hosted by Children’s Hospital Colorado. About 70 patients ages 14 to 19 attended this year’s event.

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