Special Needs Now

Sweet Prom-posal to Special Needs Teen Goes Viral

A teen wanted to ask her friend with special needs to prom in front of the entire school to spread a message of acceptance.

Michigan 16-year-old Ben Davis suffers from pantothenate kinase-associated neurodegeneration (PKAN), which is a genetic mutation that damages nerve cells in the brain and causes iron build-up. Davis is in a wheelchair and has trouble speaking, so he may have thought he'd be asked to prom when pigs fly. Turns out he was right...kind of.

During a pep rally in the gym at Everett High, Ben received the prom-posal of a lifetime in front of his entire school, and now the Facebook video of the touching moment has been viewed more than 3 million times. His friend Vee Nguyen captioned the clip, "I met Ben Davis two years ago and ever since then we became really good friends. He is such a sweet person with a kind heart and it's an honor being able to ask him to prom!"

The teen explained why she wanted to ask Davis so publicly: "I thought doing it at the pep rally where there are a lot of students would be a great idea to spread the message and to let others know that no one should be treated any different."

The special prom-posal kicked off when students handed Davis a box that read, "I'll ask you to prom when pigs fly." Inside were several pink, pig-shaped balloons, which the students let loose, to loud cheers from the bleachers. Then Nguyen appeared, standing with a row of peers wearing shirts that spelled out, "PROM?"

Davis's reaction is priceless. He is clearly so touched by what is unfolding, he starts crying.

Meanwhile, I'm deeply moved by what Nguyen said about kids with special needs: "Appearance will eventually get old but personality is what make a person beautiful. And if everyone could look past the physical appearance every time they meet someone, this world would be a better place."

Wise words from such a young girl; words that will stick with me for sure.

Melissa Willets is a writer/blogger and a mom. Follow her on Twitter (@Spitupnsuburbs), where she chronicles her love of exercising and drinking coffee, but never simultaneously.