TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - A big night kicked off on Saturday for more than 100 local teens battling serious illnesses. The 11th annual Dream Night Prom took place at the Family Life Center on the east side.
The event is put on by the Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation of Southern Arizona. Prom night for many high schoolers is sometimes taken for granted. But, for teens fighting serious illnesses there's a bigger appreciation.
"Any difficulties or battles you're facing, this event kind of makes you just forget about them and enjoy the night," said 19-year-old Marissa Molina.
Teens got the royal treatment, getting their hair and make up done and had donated dresses and tuxedos to choose from. Prom night gives them a chance to experience an event that some of them would have had to miss.
"There's nothing holding you back from feeling like it's something everybody does," said Jovanna Montano. "So it's like you're back to normal life and you get to celebrate like everyone else and not be wearing a mask or be in the hospital room all the time."
Lusia diaz helped organize the event. She was diagnosed with lukemia when she was 13-years-old.
"At first I didn't get it," said Diaz. "I didn't understand it. I started hating it. I lost my life, you know. I lost my teenage life."
Having first-hand experience with cancer, she made sure other teens could enjoy a night they won't forget.
"They go through a lot, you know. Through the whole chemo and radiation and all that and how they look and how they present themselves and i feel like for this night they can forget about all that and just enjoy the night and dance the night away."
All of the food and decorations were donated by local businesses.