Prom night is a special night for teenagers. The girls put on their finest dresses, the guys put on their tuxedos, and friends spend one final night together before heading off to college. For one Michigan teenager, this night will be memorable for a variety of reasons, even if it wasn’t the night she expected.
Corinne Bass is an 18-year-old originally from Manistee, Michigan. When she was a junior in high school, she noticed something strange: red dots on her legs. The doctors told her she had a rare disease and would need to start treatments immediately.
She was diagnosed with aplastic anemia, a rare blood disorder. It’s a problem with bone marrow, causing the body to not produce enough red or white blood cells. It leaves a person with extreme fatigue and at a high risk of infection and uncontrolled bleeding. Left untreated, this condition is quickly fatal.
Her family moved to Grand Rapids so she could undergo treatment for this health problem. After treating for several months, doctors told her she had to undergo a bone marrow transplant in order to combat this health issue. This would require a lengthy hospital stay, difficult news for anyone to take.
This was especially difficult for Bass, however. She had already missed much of her senior year, and this meant she would miss even more. She was taking classes in the hospital to graduate on time, but she was missing many of the social events that make senior year so special. She couldn’t go to sporting events, she couldn’t spend time with her friends, she had even spent her 18th birthday in the hospital.
But the event that she was most disappointed about missing was her prom. Bass couldn’t attend her school’s prom because she couldn’t run the risk of an infection. Since her white blood cell count was so low, even a simple infection could prove fatal.
The staff at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital understood how difficult this was for the teenager, so they wanted to do something special for her. They decided to throw a prom for her in the hospital with a “Great Gastby” theme, complete with 1920s style dresses, decorations, and music.
Bass dressed up in her nicest flapper dress, got to ride in a limousine, and had a special night dancing with a select group of friends and hospital staff. The whole night was about her and ensuring that she could make some special memories, just like any other teenager.
When it was all done, Bass was thrilled with what the staff had done for her. She said she considers most of the doctors and nurses family because she has lived with them for so long. The staff clearly feel the same way about her, hence their going above and beyond for the teenager.
Bass told ABC News, “I have, like, this prom that I can remember. It’s just really special … It made up for the prom that I didn’t get to go to.” What a special night for a special young woman.