Woman brings boy, mom to Mid-Michigan for special needs prom aft - WNEM TV 5

Woman brings boy, mom to Mid-Michigan for special needs prom after online ridicule

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

One Mid-Michigan woman reached out to a mother hundreds of miles away after the woman's son was ridiculed online.

Friday night she welcomed them to Mid-Michigan to take part in a great big bash.

That woman, Crystal Brown, has a niece with down syndrome who wanted to attend prom. Brown decided to make that dream a reality for hundreds as she hosts Prom in the City, a prom for those with special needs.

"It touched my heart in a way I just could not ignore it," Brown said of the woman. "And I thought how cruel can people be."

It began with a Facebook post by an Atlanta mom wishing her son a happy birthday and was shared more than 11,000 times. Her son RJ has special needs and people started saying mean things on the post, poking fun at his disabilities.

Brown, thinking of her own niece, knew she had to do something.

"So I wrote in those comments encouraging words to the mom to let her know that people can be cruel, but some people do really care about our special needs kids," Brown said.

Brown decided to turn the cruelty of social media into something positive. She contacted RJ's mom in Atlanta to invite RJ to a special needs prom she is hosting in Saginaw on Saturday.

"She was so happy about it, like what a dream come true for him. I said, 'I'd love him to come so whatever we gotta do, we'll get you here,'" Brown said.

RJ's mom was able to book a flight and Brown has set them up with a car and hotel. Now he will be the guest of honor at the inaugural special needs prom in Saginaw.

"In their eyes it's touched them, but in return they don't realize they're actually touching me," Brown said.

Brown said the prom has grown far past anything she ever imagined. She expects 300 people to attend.

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