In Ohio, there is a Homecoming Queen at Elyria High School who needed a prom date after her longtime boyfriend had passed away last year.
The senior’s name is Elna Wright, she’s 17-years old and she suffers from a disorder called Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia.
Elna’s disorder is known for: “main feature is progressive stiffness and contraction (spasticity) in the lower limbs, as a result of damage to or dysfunction of the nerves” as according to wikipedia.
The disorder has also left her nonverbal too, but that’s ok because she’s beautiful and she has a huge beaming smile and boosting personality that communicates with everyone that crosses her path.
The idea came about since Elna is a huge Cleveland sports fan, her parents, Ingrid and Ebony thought that maybe one for he Northeast Ohio’s athletes would want to accompany their sweet daughter to her senior prom.
Her mom Ingrid said, “My husband decided to put it out there. I was apprehensive at first… I thought ‘Oh boy.'”
And then it happened, “We got word Cam was in. He wanted to take her. No hesitation,” said Ingrid.
Her parents broke the news to her, telling her that Cameron Erving, the NFL’s Cleveland Browns’ #74, offensive lineman wanted to take her and at no surprise Elna was excited and beaming with joy.
“She loves the Browns. She was on top of the world, on Cloud 9. She was overwhelmed, she was so excited,” said her mom.
Cam said, “It was basically kind of a last-minute thing. I jumped at the opportunity because I felt like it was something that she deserved. I mean, I heard the story of how her boyfriend passed away and I know how she didn’t have a date at the time. I jumped at the opportunity because I felt like, in my heart, it was the right thing to do.”
Cam said, “Everybody in the city knows her and she has an infectious personality. And although she can’t talk, she communicates really well with people so I saw that and just the smile on her face and how she lights up a room.”
So Cam didn’t think twice about it, he got a limo bus and he went and got fitted for a tuxedo for himself. It was very last minute on the Tux, but he did it that same morning… he drove to the Wrights’ house that afternoon and he met the entire family.
Cam was impressed by everything, he said, “It was just awesome to see the love that they have. It’s so pure.”
The two went around to the town’s historic Ely Square and took pictures there and when they finally made it to prom, he said, “We went in and took pictures in the downtown area before and everybody was like ‘Oh my gosh! Elna, you’re so beautiful!’ And it’s just like, it’s awesome. Lack of words.”
“It was just very crazy. Everybody there knew her and everybody there knew her infectious smile and everybody was commenting on how she looked and she was just smiling. She lit the whole place up.”
The prom night with Elna was a huge experience for Cam too, he said it, “I think it definitely means more to me now than the day of.”
And he said how he now he realizes that off the field doings are going to be remembered just as much as the on field doings too.
“And I want to be remembered as someone who cares about people genuinely. And that’s all that matters to me.”
Her mom finished it with, “He was amazing, the way he pushed her through the park. He had the wheelchair like he’s known her forever.”
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