‘Now Prom’ Gives Ill Teens a Chance to Dance
Tasha Dixon will attend her third No Worries Now Prom for teens with life-threatening illnesses on Tuesday. A survivor of childhood neuroblastoma who still suffers from neurofibromatosis and Bell’s palsy, Dixon says the Now Prom is something she looks forward to every year – but unbeknownst to Dixon, this year’s prom will be extra special for her. Dixon’s boyfriend of seven years, Sean Salas, is planning to propose during the event, which will be held at Sony Studios in Los Angeles Tuesday night for five-hundred ill teens and their guests.
“The Now Proms are so special to Tasha,” Salas said. “I figure I can make an ever-lasting memory of my proposal by doing it as part of such a magical night.”
Since 2007, No Worries Now has held annual proms in Los Angeles and San Francisco. The event, themed “The Amazing Spiderman,” is 100% free for all participants, and features dinner and dessert catered by Wolfgang Puck, a roaming magician, a caricature artist, break-dancers, a photo booth, and red carpet treatment for all attendees. No Worries Now has also teamed up with the Beauty Bus Foundation and Becca’s Closet of Tracy to provide formalwear and tailoring, professional hair and makeup services, corsages and boutonnieres, and gift bags – all free for patients.
“I think it’s a great thing to provide for cancer patients and survivors, because a lot of us don’t get to go to our own proms,” Dixon said. “At my high school, only couples could go to prom. My face isn’t the ‘norm,’ so no one asked me. It is so nice to be at an event where no one judges you because you look different.”
This year, No Worries Now has expanded to hold proms in five U.S. cities – Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento, Detroit and Washington, D.C. – throughout the month of June. Through the nonprofit’s Prom-in-a-Box program, No Worries Now plans to give volunteers all over the world the tools and support they need to throw Now Proms in their own cities.
“For many attendees, the No Worries Now Prom is the one night a year they can just be kids,” said Marta Belcher, No Worries Now’s executive director. “Prom is a milestone that many of them would otherwise not be able to experience – either because of rigorous treatment schedules or because they will not live long enough. Getting out of hospital gowns and into ball gowns means the world to our attendees. We provide a space where they can relax with others who can sympathize with their experience, and just dance for one night. More than that, we give them something to look forward to all year.”
For more information about No Worries Now, visit www.noworriesnow.org.