Brunswick boy brings Miss Maine to prom

NOW: Jack's prom night with Miss Maine

CASCO, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Senior prom is one the biggest events of a teenager's life. For Jack Parker, he wasn't sure he would even live to dance that night away.

19-year-old Jack Parker was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor just two weeks before his second birthday. He underwent chemotherapy for five and half years, and has undergone 16 surgeries. 

Doctors removed his tumor in 2007, but he suffered a stroke. Then, his cancer came back in 2012.

"Everyday we're so grateful that he's still alive. We almost lost him at age two and age five and age seven, so every day has been a gift," said Jack's mother, Cate. "We didn't know that he was going to be a 17-year survivor, so for many years -- every holiday -- we didn't know if that was going to be the last holiday."

There's one place in Maine, where Jack and his family find a reprieve: Camp Sunshine on Sebago Lake. It's a place for kids with life-threatening illnesses and their families to get away from the hospital.

"He is in an environment where he is empowered, and he's confident as heck! He has so many deficits and he's lost so much, but he really doesn't know how much he's lost. When he comes here he's just really cool," said Cate. 

Jack was feeling particularly brave the day Miss Maine, Marybeth Noonan, visited Camp Sunshine. Noonan used to volunteer at Camp Sunshine before becoming Miss Maine.

Jack asked Noonan to prom. She said yes.

"I was not that nervous," said Jack. "I was happy and she's so nice."

"It's just -- it's a blessing to be able to know that for one night I'll be able to give him something that makes him so happy," said Noonan.

"We pray for these days, that he would make it to be this old, that he would get engaged," said Cate. "He has a lot of people that help him and support him, and it takes a village. There's no way we could have done any of it by ourselves."

His mother, Cate, said Camp Sunshine is place where Jack is almost a different person.

"It's an environment where he has been able to come and be with people and be accepted for exactly how he is, and he's very different from everyone else," said Cate. "When he comes here he gets to be strong and brave and funny."

Qualities that would make any student body proud to call Jack their prom king.

© 2017 WCSH-TV


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