By Lisa Gresci


BOSTON (CBS) – Dozens of teenagers enjoyed a night out and a break from the hospital with a special prom at Fenway Park. Many of the young people are battling serious illnesses, but this was one night they will never forget.

Grace’s smile said it all, as she was about to get the royal treatment at the James Joseph Salon on Newbury Street. “Really, really cool. Definitely different than what I’d normally be doing,” she said.

The 17-year-old was diagnosed with end stage renal disease, also known as chronic kidney disease, when she was just two and a half years old.

Grace gets ready for prom at James Joseph Salon (WBZ-TV)

“I was on peritoneal dialysis at home for ten years and came out to Boston once a month and for the past year I’ve been on chemo dialysis so that’s three days a week at the hospital,” she explained.

Friday night, she left that fight behind.

“I think it’s a nice way to escape hospital life and do something fun,” she said.

Hair—check. Make-up—check.

“Amazing,” she added.

She was officially ready for prom.

The venue Boston’s Children Hospital and the Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation chose, didn’t disappoint.

“I said I thought it was a great idea and everyone will love it,” Grace said.

She was right, everyone loved their Fenway prom at the park, from the moment they walked in.

From dancing with Wally the Green Monster, playing a gigantic game of Jenga, or simply taking in the view.

“Wow, I was like alright I wasn’t expecting it to be this big or this cool,” 14-year-old Carson said.

These teens were no longer patients.

“It’s a pretty incredible experience to come and see these kids having a milestone moment. The teens seem to be having a great time you see them walk up the pink carpet their eyes light up as soon as they get close,” Kari McHugh, the Executive Director of the Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation, explained.

Teens dance at Fenway Park Prom (WBZ-TV)

“I’m telling you, you go into that room and see the kids and what’s happening it is beyond joyful they are having fun they are dancing they are starting to meet new friends and for the moments they are in there they are not children who are battling a disease,” said Beth Donegan Driscoll, the Director of Child Life Services at Boston Children’s Hospital.

As someone who is preparing for her 29th surgery, Kaitlin, who was diagnosed with bilateral conductive hearing loss at the age of three, couldn’t agree more.

“It’s a good time to get away from the hospital and to get away from doctors and nurses and forget about everything that’s been happening,” she said.

By the end of the night, Grace felt like a real-life Cinderella story.

“I feel like a princess,” she said.

“This is honestly a night to remember,” Donegan Driscoll said.

Lisa Gresci

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