Dream Night Prom for kids diagnosed with cancer
ARIZONA – What started as a high school senior project 14 years ago has grown into an annual event that brings teenagers diagnosed with terminal illnesses together.
The purpose of the Dream Night Prom is to give these adolescents a chance to forget about their treatments, medication, and therapy for one night.
Team coordinator of Candlelighters Cancer Foundation, Louisa Diaz, leads in constructing this event and has been a part of the organization since the Dream Prom Night Started.
Diaz has experienced the dance every year as she dresses up and joins in with kids that come to their prom.
At the first annual Dream Night Prom, Louisa was crowned prom queen.
“When I attended, I did the whole evening of dancing, eating, and then when it came down to the royal court I was announced queen, and that was very exciting,” said Diaz.
Diaz was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia when she was 13 years old.
Diaz, who is now 29, is ten years free of cancer.
“I look at life a whole different way, life is precious, and you have to take every moment for it,” said Diaz.
Louisa’s mother, Maria Louisa Diaz, has come to Dream Night Prom every year with her daughter and has helped put together the dance.
Maria explained that the dance has helped shape Louisa. Maria said she sees the joy it brings Louisa to put this prom together every single year.
Maria said the journey for Louisa hasn’t been easy.
“There was times she kept telling me she wanted to give up, but she stayed strong and kept going,” said Maria.
The Dream Night Prom provides catered food from Panda Express and Chick-Fil-A, prizes, and pictures for those who attend.
Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation of Southern Arizona is a non-profit organization from Tucson.