Prom gives teen can­cer pa­tients a night to re­mem­ber

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OnMay11­more than 200 teen can­cer pa­tients from eight tri-county hos­pi­tals put on their gowns and tuxes to strut the red car­pet and dance the night away at “A Prom To Re­mem­ber,” which took pace at The Ritz-Carl­ton Fort Laud­erdale.

Hip-hop singer Sx-Fo, Mi­ami Dol­phins play­ers and pageant queens greeted the teens when they ar­rived. Gen­tle­men es­corted Miss Florida USA Lis­sette Gar­cia and pageant queens Gian­ina Acevedo, Kristina Bryant, Michelle Aguirre, Mikayla Pa­nariello and Brit­tney Palmer.

At the end of the red car­pet, Shireen San­doval and Chris­tine Cur­ran were wait­ing to in­ter­view each of the teens. Af­ter their brief in­ter­views, the kids were ush­ered into a re­cep­tion area by Mi­ami Dol­phins mas­cot, TD, Mi­ami Dol­phins Cheer­lead­ers and Florida Pan­thers Ice Dancers.

Later in the night YouTube sen­sa­tion, brother and sis­ter pop duo Bran­don and Sa­van­nah per­formed for the crowd.

“The whole prom was amaz­ing,” said Valentina Londono, 15, who has rhab­domyosar­coma, a can­cer that forms in mus­cles through­out the body. “When it was all over and I was driv­ing home, I was think­ing to­my­self, ‘Wow that was in­cred­i­ble!’ I was ac­tu­ally able to for­get for one night ev­ery­thing I have been through. I felt so happy and nor­mal sur­rounded by so many sur­vivors, war­riors and just peo­ple who care so much. It was an ex­pe­ri­ence I will never for­get.”

The Un­for­get­table Prom Foun­da­tion Inc. of­fers the ul­ti­mate prom­ex­pe­ri­ence for teenagers who are bat­tling can­cer. “A PromTo Re­mem­ber” strives to pro­vides hope, strength and in­spi­ra­tion while giv­ing kids some­thing to look for­ward to. With help from vol­un­teers and do­na­tions, the proms are pro­vided at no cost to the kids and their fam­i­lies. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www.APromToRe­mem­ber.org.

Chris Evert Chil­dren’s Hospi­tal pa­tient Valentina Londono, front left, and best friend Jen Gaver are joined by Mi­ami Dol­phins Ryan Baker, back left, Dan Car­pen­ter, John Den­ney, Mar­lon Moore and Davone Bess.

Pho­tos by Scott Barfield

The cel­e­bra­tion dur­ing “A Prom To Re­mem­ber.”

Teens and guest celebri­ties on the dance floor.

Shireen San­doval in­ter­views Chris Evert Chil­dren’s Hospi­tal pa­tient Do­minic John­son.

Ana Vasquez, left, Sy Oliva and Ana Vento.

Miss Sunrise USA 2013, Brit­tney Palmer, is es­corted down the red car­pet by a prom at­tendee.

A prom guest is es­corted down the red car­pet by Mi­ami Dol­phins Ryan Baker.

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