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Senior With Cerebral Palsy Attends Prom With Close Friend, Crush

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(credit: CBS) Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A boy who can’t speak became the center of attention at his St. Cloud high school for all the right reasons.  It’s a story about how some of life’s best moments aren’t necessarily perfect.

Jordan Knapek’s world is an elaborate one.

A nurse and a care assistant escort him through life.

“We call them his secret service people,” Knapek’s mom, Dori, said.

Even a cold means oxygen and fatigue.

“You see a little bit of a different kid when he’s feeling better. But it’s all good, it’s all good,” Dori said.

A sign hangs at the family home reading, “Life is good, but why couldn’t it be simpler?” It’s an attitude that brands Dori’s house and her family.

Jordan has cerebral palsy. He does not have the ability to walk or speak, but on a good day you can get a smile out of him.

“His first four years of life we had 57 hospitalizations,” Dori said.

But they’ve moved passed that.

Jordan will graduate from Tech High in St. Cloud in June, but not before the event that punctuates high school – prom.

“There’s always those milestones that you come to, you know, as he gets older that you wish he could have experience that he won’t get it. For him to have this opportunity is just huge for us,” Dori said.

“I just want him to have that high school prom experience,” said Jordan’s prom date, Rachael Conboy.

Through his communication device, and in front of our camera, a secret got out. Jordan had been crushing on Rachel.

“I’m going to prom with the best looking girl in the school,” Jordan said through his speaking device.

“I never knew that having a friend who can’t communicate could be the best friend that he is to me. Just like there’s nothing bad that comes out of his mouth about me and I don’t know if I could say I know anyone else like that,” Rachael said.

So the very next day he did what a teenage boy does and escorted his lady to prom.

He still was under the weather but Rachel prompted him to “make the best of it.”

His mom made dinner for 22 of his friends, Jordan can’t eat solid food but he took in the company, before they headed to the school gym.

Jordan had to take in most of the night from afar, but his date did take him for a spin.

Proving a date between two teenagers can be special, even if it is complicated.

After Jordan graduates, he will go into a two year support program.  Rachael plans to go to nursing school.

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