Carl Albert seniors give Children's Center patients chance to go to prom

Three patients at The Children's Center in Bethany, OK, enjoyed a night at the prom, thanks to students in the Midwest City-Del City School District.
BY MELISSA RICHEY, For The Oklahoman Published: May 14, 2012

— Megan Roy, a senior at Carl Albert High School wanted to do something big — something so completely different for her third and final prom.

“Instead of taking dates from the school, we thought we would choose people who don't get to go to a high school prom,” she said.

So the 18-year-old and two friends from the high school in the Midwest City-Del City School District chose three patients at The Children's Center in Bethany.

Chelsea Egge, 17, has called The Children's Center her second home since 2009. She has dystonic cerebral palsy, which causes her muscles to work against each other. When she turns 18 in August, she will say goodbye to her friends at the center. She will take with her many memories, but none will top the moment she met Megan Roy.

The dress

It is a chilly day in April, and Chelsea Egge is about to receive a surprise; something no other Children's Center patient has ever experienced. Today, Chelsea will go shopping for a prom dress.

Her eyes light up when she enters the boutique and sees the beautiful dresses awaiting her. With her mother, Sheila Egge, at her side, she searches for the one that will make her look and feel like a princess.

“Chelsea is such a girlie girl. She loves this moment,” Sheila Egge said. “The smile on her face is something I will never forget.”

Hot pink, full of glitter and pouf, lots of pouf … it is the dress Chelsea has chosen to wear to the prom. And her mom could not be happier.

“She lit up when she saw that pink, sparkly dress. Nothing was topping that dress. She's going to look like Cinderella.”

Camilla Dadulo, Chelsea's special-education teacher, helped coordinate the trip.

“It's every little girl's dream to find that perfect dress. For Chelsea to experience that with her mom is something that I never thought could happen,” Dadulo said.

Preparations are not quite so tedious for the two boys attending the prom with Chelsea, but The Children's Center staff has taken careful measures to match their attire to their unique personalities.

Terry Davis, 16, of Oklahoma City, will wear a black tux with a bright yellow and black striped tie. He's a fan of “Sponge Bob Square Pants.”

Chris Schatz, 15, of Bethany, who is known for his trendy fashion sense, will wear a black tux with a bright orange vest and bow tie to match his date's dress.

The first meeting

It is one week before the prom, and Megan and her longtime friend, Lani Harrell, arrive at The Children's Center.

“Today, we meet Chelsea, Chris and Terry. I think we are going to play some games with them,” she said.

The girls, minus their third partner, Seth Blanton, who is back at Carl Albert playing baseball, are visiting their dates to get to know them better. “Nobody wants a blind date for the prom,” Megan laughs.

Megan and Lani arrive early, which gives them the chance to meet some of the younger patients who have converged in the physical and occupational therapy gym. The Children's Center cares for children newborn to 18. It is a great opportunity for the girls to warm up before meeting Chelsea, Terry and Chris.

Continue reading this story on the...