Some 30 teenage girls with cancer were pampered for a special “Great Gatsby”-themed prom over the weekend in the San Diego area, KTLA sister station KSWB reported.
Volunteers with the Chula Vista salon Rico’s on 3rd did the teens hair and makeup for free in preparation for Friday's 9th-annual “unforgettable prom,” hosted by the nonprofit organization Friends of Scott.
One of the girls who was pampered said she was excited about the affair.
“I feel gorgeous … I’ve never put on makeup, but when this came on, I was like ‘wow,’” 17-year-old Ellen Erickson told KWSB.
Erickson has since underwent 13 surgeries since she was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer when she was 11, and now has a prosthetic leg that causes her to limp.
“I feel a little sick, but I just get through it and I just go on with my life and have fun,” Erickson said.
Salon owner Snooky Rico, who herself was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014, said the teens motivate her.
“Kids are so resilient,” Rico told KSWB. “Some of them … we see them year in and year out, and it’s just amazing to see how they’re still standing.”
The teens helped Rico more than she could help them, she said.
“These are my heroes, really. Just to see these kids go through what they go through … it takes me away from what I’ve been through,” Rico said.
The salon has pampered the girls for the annual prom the past six years.
After their hair and makeup were complete, the girls were expected to meet up with other teens battling cancer and walk the red carpet before joining the prom festivities.
The prom was hosted by the Friends of Scott foundation, a nonprofit that aims to help children with cancer and their families.
KTLA sister station KSWB, in Sacramento, contributed to this report.