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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Marissa Graczyk and her family have taken too many trips to Children’s Mercy to count, but Friday was different.

“I haven’t been here before,” Marissa said.

Marissa was going to the second annual Children’s Mercy prom. This year’s theme: “Let’s Glow.”

Marissa didn’t have just one favorite part: “Dancing and hair and makeup and a beautiful dress,” she said.

“She’s just a beautiful girl, so it’s always kind of a tear-filled moment when she’s done and looks as beautiful as she does,” her mom Dawn said.

The glam, hair and make-up made her feel, “like a celebrity,” Marissa said.

More than 60 teens walked the red carpet and posed for paparazzi Friday night. Some were even escorted by Sporting KC players. Then they played games, stopped at the Kendra Scott color bar and danced the night away. See more of the fun in the video player above.

Warren Redmon owned the dance floor and said it was a nice change of pace.

“It just really sucks that you have to stay at home all the time,” he said.
Warren has sickle cell disease. Friday night was the exception. He grabbed his friend and said “let’s glow.”

“This means a lot to me,” Warren said. “Us sickle cell kids don’t get to go outside much and do stuff with other people, and just being out here just makes me feel a lot better.”

“We had numerous patients and parents tell us they weren’t going to go to their prom they haven’t been to school dances, and this is just an opportunity of a lifetime for them,” Children’s Mercy Volunteer Program Coordinator Trista Williams said.

Dawn said seeing these teens and her daughter shine bright and rise above the adversity they face with their health warms her heart.

“They just go through so much and they have to be so brave,” she said. “And I just can’t think of population that is more deserving of having a special night just to forget about all those things.”

All the dresses and suits were donated, along with hair and makeup services.