Elementary school plans special surprise for terminally ill kind - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Elementary school plans special surprise for terminally ill kindergarten student

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Jerrica Stone, 5, was born with an unspecified mitochondrial disease. Jerrica Stone, 5, was born with an unspecified mitochondrial disease.
Jerrica was abandoned at the hospital where Barbara was a nurse. Jerrica was abandoned at the hospital where Barbara was a nurse.
With Jerrica's love of princesses, her teachers at Cochran Elementary school wanted to give the little girl a Halloween she would never forget. With Jerrica's love of princesses, her teachers at Cochran Elementary school wanted to give the little girl a Halloween she would never forget.
Michael McClaren Michael McClaren
Barbara McClaren Barbara McClaren

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – A girl with the odds stacked against her got a special surprise to  make her feel like a princess. This was all made possible thanks to her school, Cochran Elementary.

"Her mind is completely normal, it's her body that's failing," said Barbara McClaren, mother. 

Jerrica Stone, 5, was born with an unspecified mitochondrial disease. Because of severe muscle weakness she's never crawled, walked or talked, but she can hear and she communicates. 

"Jerrica uses sign language," said McClaren. 

She leaves a lasting impression on just about everybody she meets, especially Michael and Barbara McClaren. They're not Jerrica's biologocial parents, but they have full custody. Jerrica was abandoned at the hospital where Barbara was a nurse.

Jerrica's birth mother is a distant relative to Barbara and these two knew they couldn't leave her side. 

"When we first brought her in, we didn't think we would have her that long and it's been five years now," said Michael McClaren.
 
But the parents know soon the disease will overcome. "Things aren't going as well as we hoped and so there's been some discussions of going into full blown Hospice, which means there won't be anymore doctor's appointments," Barbara McClaren. 

Not a reality this family is ready to face. So, instead they are focusing on the present. 

"School is the very best part of her day, she loves it," said Mrs. McClaren. 

With Jerrica's love of princesses, her teachers at Cochran Elementary school wanted to give the little girl a Halloween she will never forget. The family wasn't able to afford a Cinderella gown, so her special education teacher bought it for her.

They even decorated her wheelchair and planned one more surprise, but due to bad weather they were forced to re-schedule.
 
On Thursday, the entire school will surround this little girl as she goes on a real horse and carriage ride.  

"This will be her day," said Mr. McClaren. "She's going to be able to shine."
 
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