Doctors told Shannon Horner-Shepherd of Port Dover, Canada, that her newborn daughter would not survive past a year. Little Gabby was born with Partial Trisomy 13, a chromosomal disorder that causes many severe physical and mental issues. With this, most babies don’t even survive their first month.
Says Shannon: “Doctors said she probably would not live to see her first birthday. They said she would never know the world around her. She would be in a vegetative state.”
Well, that was 21 years ago. Today, Gabby can boast about having two dates at once take her to the prom.
Says her mom: “She loves being around people, she loves music, she loves to dance. She’s got this great mischievous sparkling personality. I want her life to mimic that of a typical developing young adult… Prom was that one place to do something special.”
Young Gabby is limited with her mental faculties, functioning at about the level of a 2-year-old. She cannot speak. Early on, her mom found a support group of parents with children having the same affliction. And that has helped tremendously in Gabby’s growth.
In school, Gabby took private classes with special aides. And when prom time approached, Shannon knew her daughter wanted to take part in it. So she made a video asking for a date for Gabby, and she posted it.
I have spent 21 years trying to give Gabby a life that is as close to “normal” as possible despite she is not what the world would see as “normal”, but it is at times like this that her differences become apparent. It's senior year and Gab is graduating high school which means it’s PROM TIME!! For most young adults this is a time of excitement and one last night for “living it up” as a high school student and to create memories that last a lifetime. Well, we’ve got the dress, hair is figured out, nail appointment booked…now we just have to find A DATE!!! My life’s mission since she came into this world 21 years ago has been to make sure that she is remembered by everyone she meets so that when the day comes that she’s no longer on this earth she has left an imprint on their souls. I would LOVE this prom to be one of those times where she is remembered by everyone whose lives she has touched in high school. And to truly make it the BEST NIGHT EVER for Gabby! Please share this post to get the word out that we're looking for someone special as the date for Gabby's prom is June 1st and our deadline is May 30th! If you want to get into contact with me about this, (serious applicants only since our deadline is fast approaching) send an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out Gabbys website https://hornershannont.wixsite.com/prom2019 for more information. #GabsProm2019 . . . . ellentube Ellen DeGeneres P!nk Support Organization for Trisomy (SOFT) #Prom2019 #PromDate #Trisomy13 #SOFT #compatiblewithlife #morethanadiagnosisPosted by Shannon Horner-Shepherd on Saturday, 25 May 2019
About 25 people responded to it, and that was narrowed down to two young men who wrote back very touching messages. So both of them became her dates. One was police officer Jeremey Renton. The other was 21-year-old hockey player Zack Bowman. Both of them looked beyond Gabby’s special needs, and just wanted to give her a great time. So they all went to the prom. And they all, indeed, had a wonderful time.
Says Jeremey: “There was no way I was going to let her not go to prom. I know how important prom is… and I know she defeated the odds. I wanted to make sure I was part of that and make it possible.”
Zach had such a great time that afterwards he was inspired to start a ball hockey fundraiser in Niagra Falls, Canada, to help Gabby and others like her.
Says Zach: “Take a leap of faith or do a kind act. I am really grateful to be a part of Gabby’s life.”