Girl With Special Needs Will Get Perfect Prom

With help from a local dress shop, a girl with cerebral palsy goes to dance.

ByABC News
April 2, 2010, 3:10 PM

April 5, 2010— -- Ask any teen girl in high school and she will probably list prom among the many high school events to which she looks forward.

Dani Wilkening, 18, of Spring, Texas, is no different. But for Dani, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at 6 months, the dream of playing dress-up for the evening and dancing the night away with her classmates seemed almost impossible to her mother.

"The night that Dani was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, I woke up in the middle of the night and I cried. I said, 'My baby's never going to prom,'" said Dani's mom, Vicki Goodnight. "That was significant to me that she wasn't going to get all the milestones in life."

A senior at Oak Ridge High School in Conroe, Texas, Dani was determined to celebrate her prom. But Dani's confinement to a wheelchair made it impossible to try on dresses inside dress shops, said Goodnight. And her muscles had atrophied, so it would be hard to find an off-the-rack dress that fit properly.

But Dani's stepsister Brittany had bought a prom dress the year before at a shop called Dream Day Bridal in The Woodlands, Texas. The owner was Laurie Metcalf-Brock. Brittany took Dani there.

"In Dani's mind there was no doubt she was going to go, but the rest of us had questions," said Goodnight.

"It scared me when [Dani] came in because I never had this challenge," said Metcalf-Brock. "But I knew what could be done and can't be done."

Metcalf-Brock measured Dani and e-mailed her pictures of possible dresses. Once Dani picked one, the store would custom-make the dress to fit her.