Making Your Mark: Special prom for disabled students

13News Now LaSalle Blanks has the details.

NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- It was something beautiful at the prom -- students dressed up in their gowns and tuxes and dancing in the ballroom at the Norfolk Marriott .... in their wheelchairs.

Welcome to the prom for kids at St. Mary's Home for Disabled Children in Norfolk. 

"I am excited," said Jorge Fernandez, one of the wheelchair-bound students who's sister, Lillian, accompanied him to his prom. "It's a blessing to me. Thank you God and thank you Jesus."

"It's awesome," Lillian said. "It's really, really nice."

What made it really nice was an outpouring of love from the community to make this happen in grand style.

The Waterside Marriott donated the ballroom and the food and drinks. The board at St. Mary's paid for the boys' tuxes from Men's Warehouse, and Random Breeze Boutique in Virginia Beach donated dresses for the girls.

That's not the only way Hampton Roads showed support. Students from Grassfield High School in Chesapeake and LifePoint Christian Fellowship were there dancing with the students and making sure they had a great time. 

It all made the kids feel good. It made Jorge feel so good, he wanted to show us how he can stand up out of his wheelchair, do a Michael Jackson move, and dance with his sister -- leaning on her for support.

"I love my brother with all my heart," Lillian said. "He's my gem. I call him Gem."

Jorge is at St. Mary's because he suffered a traumatic brain injury after he was shot when he was younger. It left him with an impaired ability to speak and to be able to walk on his own.

For Lillian, to see her brother fighting to stand up and dance is inspirational. 

"He's trying everyday to stand on his feet," Lillian said. He's working hard."

"I can't quit on anything because if I quit dancing and all that, it makes me feel like I'm letting my whole entire family down," Jorge said.

"No, he's making everyone happy," Lillian replied. "Doing what he's doing is the best thing ever."

She also says the same thing about St. Mary's Home for Disabled Children for giving her brother and others the chance to experience one of the greatest events in a teenager's life.

"Thank you for letting all of the other children have a chance to enjoy a prom," Lillian said. They've done a lot for us. It's been a miracle for my brother. It really has."

PHOTOS: Special prom for disabled students


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