It was prom day 2015 at Cochrane-Fountain City High School, and queen Olivia Hope Pelley was prepared.
Her spine tingled and heart raced while she did her hair, put on makeup and graced herself in an ocean-blue dress and tiara. Surrounded by friends and family, Olivia, then 18, indulged in the special day, able for at least an afternoon to set aside a lifetime of sickness and lingering doubt about her future.
She was, for a day, the queen.
That afternoon Olivia and her friends laughed, shared small talk and gossip, and wondered what the big dance would be like. She posed for photos with family, friends, and her date. Her cheek muscles grew tired from holding a smile.
Olivia’s only worry was making sure she soaked in every minute, capturing treasured moments to carry with her the rest of her life — the flashing lights, the loud music, sweating from dancing among dozens of others, taking countless photos, even embarrassing moments with friends. Continue reading
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