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Jerika Bolden is Planning Her Last Dance – But Living Nonetheless

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Jerika Bolden may not be able to remember a life without pain. She has had 38 surgeries, rods put into her back and neck, she has been unable to walk, she is unable to breathe without a ventilator and she is only 14 years old.  Much to the disappointnment of her loved ones, Jerika has decided that she can’t take the pain anymore, that she can no longer live with it – that she can no longer live, period.  Jerika is making a conscious decision to end her life by the end of this summer.
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Through the tears that they shed together while Jerika made her heartbreaking decision, Jerika’s mom finally accepted it. They met with Jerika’s counselor and afterwards, Jerika’s says “we cried and cried”.

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Jerika explains in an interview with the Post-Crescent newspaper, “When I decided, I felt extremely happy and sad at the same time,” she told the Post-Crescent. “There were a lot of tears, but then I realized I’m going to be in a better place, and I’m not going to be in this terrible pain. I’ve been working on it and thinking about it for way longer than anyone else has.”

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Jerika’s mom, Jen understands and is respecting her daughter’s decision. Jen explained that every time after a big surgery Jerika “loses a lot of strength”.  Jerika has a disease that has no cure. It’s called Type Spinal II Muscular Atrophy (SMA II).  The disease causes debilitating pain for which in Jerika’s case, doctors have tried to help with operation after operation but to no avail. So, far Jerika has had 38 surgeries.

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Usually with the disease of SMA II, people don’t survive into the teen years, but Jerika has been quite strong.  As Jerika explains “I just kept going… I didn’t want to hurt my mom, I didn’t want to hurt my family. I wanted to keep fighting and keep fighting. I didn’t have a life, I was just laying on the couch, got up to do homework and then went back to bed because I was so sore.” Even the pain medication is ruining Jerika’s body, according to Jen.

One of the main things that keeps Jerika alive is a ventilator. Jerika needs to be on the ventilator 12 hours a day in order to keep breathing, but at the end of the summer Jerika has decided to shut the ventilator down. She will be in hospice care as she lives out the final moments of her life with her mom.
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Jerika has also planned out how she will live and that will be to the utmost. This summer Jerika plans on attending her prom as she wants to be prom queen at her own ball.  The prom theme will be in her favorite colors, green and black and her favorite music will be played, Pop Music and tunes played by one of her favorite groups, My Chemical Romance.

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Most of all it seems that as this time arrives Jerika wants everyone else to be happy, not sad. She explains that at her prom, there will be “dancing and lots of food, because I love food.  I just want everyone to be happy. We’re all going to be together and dance. That’s all I want…that’s all I want.” Jerika’s mom replies, “I think we can do that.”  Jerika in her way, as she wants, will be living life to the fullest.

21 Responses

  1. I prayed that God would heal you and send someone to pray over you. I do believe in miracle and have seen them in my own life. I have been in pain for over 11 years. I can’t image all my life. You are a very courageous young lady. I pray that God will comfort you and ease the pain. You have the best prom ever.
    One of my favorite saying is “You only get one life, so get busy living it”. Don’t let just prom stop you from living and seeing this beautiful world God has created. You will be in my prayers. ~God Bless~

  2. Prayers go out to the family my heart aches as I read this only she knows her pain she wants to be free of all pain…..Enjoy your prom I wish I could be there to share this day you Jesus I ask that you watch over her and her family and friends in Jesus Name Amen!

  3. Have a wonderful prom you are a beautiful strong young lady it’s in gods hand now wish I could attend your prom be blessed much love and I understand watch my sister battle cancer 10 years. She won her battle in sept 25 2015 I miss her but I know she’s in a better place

  4. God is good. You are a very strong young lady. He has kept you thus far, and He is willing and able to keep you even further. It shouldn’t be left on you to decide your fate for the next breath you take but for Him to do. He will do it for your good and His glory. Talk to Him my friend, open up to him your fears. Tell Him you want to give up; how unbeareable the pain is. Let Him know you are discouraged and feel like you cant go on any longer. Not withholding too, that you know that its all in your strength that you are feeling this way. Because you know He is God and He can do anything. He can raise the dead. He is full of strength,love and might. He is all powerful. He is the sustainer the healer, the burden bearer and the comforter. And we can do nothing without Him. We are nothing without Him. Then confess your sins and Ask for forgiveness and a repetitive heart. Then invite Him in your life. Ask him for the Holy Spirit. Plead to Him to have His will, be shown in your life. It should be left to Him to decide if you stay breathing or not. He knows when its too much for you. He will not give us anything that we cant bear.
    He has the strength to help us overcome any pain. He loves us, He doesnt want us to live in pain. Its the evil one’s plan. He wants to depress and oppress. He wants to distract us from the living and loving Saviour Jesus Christ. He says he has great plans for us: Jeremiah 29:11King James Version (KJV)

    11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
    I can only encourage and share Him. Because He is the only Deliverer I know.
    Praying for you and the family. We are praising Him in advance for His marvelous work in your life.
    When we die, the next time we wake up is for the judgement. Will we be ready to see His face, or are we going to run to the rocks to fall on us? We have this life to be ready. There is no repentance in the grave. I want to be ready. I encourage you to be ready.I want us all to hear His sweet voice saying: Enter in!
    All my love Jerika Bolden.

  5. God is good. You are a very strong young lady. He has kept you thus far, and He is willing and able to keep you even further. It shouldn’t be left on you to decide your fate for the next breath you take but for Him to do. He will do it for your good and His glory. Talk to Him my friend, open up to him your fears. He knows everything but communicate witn Him just the same. Tell Him you want to give up. Tell Him how unbeareable the pain is. Let Him know you are discouraged and feel like you cant go on any longer. He needs to hear you say these things. Not withholding too, that you know that its all in your strength that you are feeling this was. Because you know He is God and He can do anything. He can raise the dead. He is full of strength,love and might. He is all powerful. He is the sustainer the healer, the burden bearer and the comforter. And we can do nothing without Him. We after nothing without Him. Then confess your sins and short comings to Him. Ask for forgiveness and a repetitive heart. Then invite Him in your life. Ask him for the Holy Spirit. Plead to Him to have His will, be shown in your life. It should be left to Him to decide if you stay breathing or not. He knows when its too much for you. He will not give us anything that we cant bear.
    He has the strength to help us overcome any pain. He loves us, He doesnt want us to live in pain.The is all the evil one’s plan. He wants to depress and oppress. He wants the distract us from the living and living Saviour Jesus Christ. He says he has great plans for us: Jeremiah 29:11King James Version (KJV)

    11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
    I can only encourage and share Him. Because He is the only Deliverer I know.
    Praying for you and the family. We are praising Him in advance for His marvelous work in your life.
    When we die, the next time we wake up is for the judgement. Will we be ready to see His face, or are we going to run to the rocks to fall on us? We have this life to be ready. There is no repentance in the grave. I want to be ready. I encourage you to be ready.I want us all to hear His sweet voice saying: Enter in!
    All my love Jerika Bolden.

  6. I so admire your strength and courage of your own choice and God bless you and your family

  7. I am praying for you and your family. I do understand the feeling you are going through. I hope you have a great prom. You are a strong and various women.

  8. May God be with you and your family and blessing with you all. I hate the situation but I know God will be with you through all this with love take care….

  9. God Bless you. I pray that you have the best most amazing prom ever.

  10. Wow!!! I can’t say I believe in the choice you made, but your strength, beauty, and courage is immeasurable!!! This brought tears to my eyes and at the same time saw the most beautiful life ready to transcend in a magnificent way. I’m going to pray for a miracle because the God I serve has never failed and I know that if two or more pray, He will answer!!!

  11. Praying For You Jerika That God Will Continuously Be Right By Your Side. Miracles Happen Everyday And I’m A True Believer That God Can & Will Perform A Miracle Healing. I’m So Proud Of You Lil Lady. I’ll Keep You Uplifted In My Prayers. God Bless You Hun. Keep Holding On A Change Is Gonna Come.❤???

  12. Such a sweet soul. I love you. May God bless you and your family. Thank you for sharing your story.

  13. Hey Jarika honey God Bless you honey! Have a great Prom!

  14. I hope something changes before then but if not GOD will be waiting for you. Your beautiful and I think your hair is cool. I think your awesome and strong. Rest in peace lil lady.. .❤❤❤❤❤

  15. Miracles can happen for a brave and beautiful young woman and her lovely Mom. God bless you, Jerika.

  16. I have a incurable disease called pulmonary hypertension and I was born with congenital heart defect. I have a pacemaker I have had 4 heart surgeries and I go every Friday for a paracentesis procedure because I have heart failure and I retain fluid in my stomach I have been doing every Friday for two years and omg I’m always in pain …. God is great Hun pray pray for hope faith and peace in your heart I have died so many times but God brings me back to life because is not time for me to go ! You have the right to choose whatever makes you happy Hun and being in pain all the time is no joke I know that for a fact. I’m also always in pain I’m 30 years old and I have given up everything for a better health and thank god I’m still here my faith is stronger than my disease…. May God bless you Hun and please don’t loose hope ! GOD MAKES MIRACLES you have to believe it in your heart ?? please feel free to contact me for questions or just to chat you are NOT alone we are fighting with you !

  17. HHave a Great time at your prom…May god bless you and your family??

    1. Caudalie is everywhere these days! I see them all over Pink ey3aosdhw&#82e0; I have to say it’s a yes, when done right! I never used to like it but I was given it at a shoot and it looked surprisingly nice! It’s really versatile and can be both pretty (pastels) or punk (hot pink and fuchsia) xx ReneeRenee | Beauty Fool recently posted …

  18. I believe in Miracles! I pray a Miracle for you! Jesus came to give you life and life more abundantly. I understand that you live your life in pain and the disease takes away your quality of life. It also seem that you don’t want to “burden” your family. I submit to you that you truly seek the Will of God for your life. I don’t know your Faith but I know there is a Heaven , a better place for all that believe Jesus is the Son of God and confess Him as their Lord and Savior. I also know hell is real but was prepare for satan and his demons. Whatevet, decision you make, after death all of us will spend eternity somewhere. My older sister died of an awful disease too soon but I know she will receive her healing on the other side. I pray that you have an encounter with Jesus and let him give you peace. You are a brave and beautiful young lady and did not ask for this disease to invade your body, take your life of normacy away/happiness. Just know, your life matters. I thank God for your mom and your family support. If you csn watch one movie for me, please watch, Miracles From Heaven. God does love you! God Bless!

  19. Love you to the moon and back. You are such a wonderful girl. I just wanted you to know. Have a wonderful prom.

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