Jerika, a 14-year-old student from Wisconsin was diagnosed with SMA II (type 2 spinal muscular atrophy) at the age of eight months. This is a rare genetic condition (one in 6,000 people are affected), that causes the patient to lose the ability to use their muscles and become unable to move. It affects the nerves that control muscle movement. She spends most of her time sittingin a wheelchair and experiences incredible pain every day.

"Seven or eight in a scale of 10 where 10 is the worst pain I have ever felt in my life," she said.

She has had several surgeries to make the quality of her life better, but her mother claims removing parts of her hip bones, placing rods into her back and fusing some parts of her spine together did not help as much as they expected.

The last summer, full of happiness

The brave girl decided to live her life to the fullest before she dies at the end of this summer. She wants to attend her prom and have a last dance, a huge, unforgettable dance. She is planning to wear a dress in her favorite colors, green and black, with punk-style jewelry and green lip gloss.

She wants to dance to all kinds of music, from emo tracks to dance hits. There are more than 1,000 people invited. All are looking forward to making this night the very best in Jerika's whole life. All of her teachers and schoolmates agreed to make her the center of this year's prom. She also wants to spend her last summer with her mother and her dog, collecting happy moments and memories until the end of summer when she plans to go off of the ventilator that keeps her alive.

She says, though it was unimaginably hard to make this decision, she does not feel strong enough to fight any more. She has had enough of the pain and not being able to do the things she wishes.

Jerika believes in life after death. She knows for sure that she will be free, and able to walk and dance. She is also sure that God gave her this life because she is strong enough to handle it. While her final days might be a sad time for her family, they understand her decision and are determined to be happy for her.

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