Young Princess Honored

It felt like a pep rally as a gorgeous real horse and buggy came to Cochran Elementary School Thursday afternoon to pick up a beautiful Cinderella. 

In a sparkly gown and glass slippers and a crown fit for a queen Jerrica Stone, 5, was ready for Cinderella's ball.

She even had her prince charming and best friend Jaden Gilbert by her side.

Jaden was fully prepared for his job as prince, "I raised my hand up and I said I want to be the prince." And as her prince he knew he had a very important role, "I got to hold her hand in the carriage."

Everyone at Cochran Elementary knows Jerrica, a kindergarten student whose time is running out.

Since birth she has suffered from an unspecified mitochrondrial disease. Her mind is there, but her body is failing.

So special education teacher Shannon Putman knew she wanted to make this a year to remember.

"She comes in everyday and she works so hard and she won't take a break, I have to trick her into taking a break," said Putman.

Students lined the halls as the prince and princess made their way through the school. 

"I hope it is this most special. I hope she gets to actually live out her dream of being a princess like she deserves, so I just hope she enjoys every minute," Putman said.

Outside a red carpet led to Cinderella's carriage and the true joy was evident on her classmates' faces as Jerrica was whisked away. Her parents were overwhelmed by the students' support.

"You can't teach kids compassion, but they do such a wonderful job here of helping them understand what's going on with Jerrica and helping them understand that they don't have to be afraid of her and all the kids just embraced her and loved her, it's just amazing," said Barbara McClaren, Jerrica's mother.

While a happily ever after may be out of reach, for a little girl who cherishes each day it's the moments like this that will forever live on.

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