She is only 14 years old and contemplating suicide. Jerika Bolen has been struck by a Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type 2, known as SMA.
The debilitating disease robbed her of the ability to use most of her muscles and is causing young Jerika to live in constant pain. So she decided to go in her own way.
She will host a special prom where everybody is invited before she decides to shed this mortal coil.
“I don’t have many friends, because I couldn’t get out really and do many things because I was in so much pain.
“And this prom is, we’ll we call it my last dance.”
Jerika has been battling SMA since she was eight months old. She has been confined to a wheelchair all her life. The disease only spared her movement in her hands and some part of her face.
This is what her mother has to say about the situation:
“We were given a limited prognosis by the neurologist, but I refused to listen to that doctor tell me I was going to lose the best thing that ever happened to me.
“I immediately got on the internet and found other families like ours.
“My heart broke seeing all the photos of babies who lost their lives to this disease, but I also found many families whose children were living and HAPPY and I was put in touch with an amazing doctor near us in Madison.
“Dr Schroth is a specialist in her disease and I can never thank her enough for all of these ‘extra’ years we have had.
“Despite the fact that Jerika never crawled, walked, rode a bike or did many other things most children can she was a very happy girl.
“I couldn’t begin to put words to the gift my girl has been to my life.
“I promised my child when it got to be too much I would be behind her no matter what.
“She has endured more in her 14 years of life than most adults will ever have to.
“I am beyond proud of her for fighting so hard for this long and I am honoured to be her mother.
“She has let me know now that she needs to be free of her broken body.
“She has a couple last wishes that I would love your help with. She wants a to have a ‘prom’... one night of music and dancing and fun.
“She wants a disco ball and black and lime green decor and to be surrounded by lots of friends she has been unable to see for a long time.
“After that she will come home and begin her journey to Heaven.”
“When pain is too much, it’s too much. I need to do what’s best for me. It was a really hard decision to make.”
Jerika is planning on stopping using her ventilator by August and begin hospice care.