Dell Children's patients get a prom night of their own - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Dell Children's patients get a prom night of their own

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Prom season has come and gone with one exception. Saturday, dozens of volunteers from organizations and businesses worked to transform part of Dell Children's Medical Center into a Brazilian Carnival-themed prom. 

"You get to put on make-up and someone does your hair and you get to pick out a pretty dress," said Jo Ashley Walker. She's 19 years old and loves going to prom. Not her high school prom, but Dell Children's prom. Jo Ashley likes it because she gets to see her friends who know what she's been through and make new ones.

Jo Ashley beat brain cancer four years ago, but lives with the side effects of treatment. Her fight lasted seven years.

"I lost my hair but some of it is coming back and I lost some friends who thought they were going to catch it," she said.

"She's my hero and gives me so much strength," Carol Walker said about her daughter.

Standing outside the dressing room waiting for Jo Ashley to transform into a princess, Walker explains how emotional a night like this can be. "There are some moms that weren't so lucky. Sometimes I feel guilty because their kids didn't make it and mine did."

Jo Ashley picked out a black formal gown with pink flowers. "I just knew it was going to be the one," Jo Ashley explained about her selection.

While families snapped pictures of precious moments, a surprise waits for Jo Ashley. It's a moment her family had kept a secret for weeks.

The guest list for the night is exclusive for fighters, like Jo Ashley, and their friends. It's a parent free prom.

"Here the teens are more comfortable with each other and can forget about their illness and make friends," said Cindy Fitzpatrick, a child life manager at Dell Children's Medical Center, who helped coordinate this year's prom.

With the help of countless volunteers and donations, Fitzpatrick made sure every detail was perfect.

When the clock hit 9 p.m. it was back up to the hospital for some and home for others.

There is a raffle for prom king and queen. This year, Jo Ashley went home the Queen of the prom.

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