Teen with terminal illness who held her own prom dies


Jerika Bolen, 14, made headlines when she wanted to hold a "last dance" prom before entering hospice care and deciding to end her life.

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Jerika suffered from Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type II, which is a hereditary disease that leads to weak, wasting muscle tissue.

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke says that there are three types: I, II, and III, with Type I being the most severe and Type III being more mild.

Related: Teen with terminal disease to hold prom before death

"I don’t have many friends. I’m not, like, 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 said in a July report from WBAY-TV.

The Appleton, Wisconsin, teen fulfilled her wish with a prom attended by more than 1,000 people.

Related: Teen with terminal genetic disorder fulfills final wish for prom

In August, she entered hospice care and stopped using her ventilator. Her mother, Jen Bolen, told The Post-Crescent Jerika died Thursday.

"When I decided (to end my life), I felt extremely happy and sad at the same time," Jerika told The Post-Crescent in July. "There were a lot of tears, but then I realized I’m going to be in a better place, and I’m not going to be in this terrible pain."

"My only words to anyone questioning this is that I love that girl with every cell in my being," Bolen said, "and no one in their right mind would let someone suffer like she was."

Posted by Jerika Bolen on Monday, August 8, 2016


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