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A teen with terminal cancer gets to experience prom early

Lisa Gulya of the Grand Forks Herald writes:
Morgan Hayes is preparing for prom like countless other teen girls this spring: finding a date, trying on dresses, picking out flowers and selecting styles for hairdos and manicures.

But Morgan, 15, will attend prom earlier than most. Although a sophomore, she’s going to the junior-senior prom Saturday at her high school in Langdon, N.D.

Eric Hylden / Grand Forks Herald via AP

Morgan Hayes stands on a platform as her mom, Julie, puts the finishing touches on her prom dress during a fitting in Fargo, N.D, March 31. Celebrations are coming early for Morgan because she is battling two types of cancer, cancer so advanced that treatments ceased March 16.

It’s a privilege secured for her by persistent family, friends and an understanding principal. For Morgan, prom will be a speeded-up celebration, like her 16th birthday, which her family marked on a Caribbean cruise in mid-March. Her birthday is June 2.

Celebrations are coming early for Morgan because she is battling two types of cancer, cancer so advanced that treatments ceased March 16. The cruise, donated by Carnival Cruise Lines, and the chance to attend prom are wishes granted by generous friends and strangers.

“I know it sounds silly in the light of what we stand to lose, but mammas have dreams for their little girls…prom, graduation, college, marriage, babies…” wrote Morgan’s mother, Julie Agnes, on her daughter’s CaringBridge website. “We know that these dreams will most likely not be obtainable, but to those of you who are going that extra step to try to make prom a reality (…) Thank you and we love you!”

Morgan’s take on prom is more concise. Asked what she is most looking forward to Saturday night, Morgan says, “Being a normal kid.”

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