Woman with cerebral palsy gets a spectacular wedding-themed birthday party

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COLONIAL HEIGHTS, Va. — A 42-year-old woman with cerebral palsy had her wish come true when her family threw a spectacular wedding-themed birthday party for her.

Lori Dawn was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when she was born, according to WTVR. Doctors didn’t expect her to live, but she defied the odds. She ended up being able to walk and talk, both tasks doctors said she would never be able to do. Dawn’s parents knew Dawn would love a wedding-themed party because she constantly talked about being a bride.

“She knew she was about to be a bride — the one thing she’s dreamed of being,” Grace Swearingen, Dawn’s mother, said to WTVR. “That’s all we ever hear, ‘Mom, I wanna be a bride,’” she said.

Swearingen said Dawn constantly poured over bridal magazines and looked at gowns and decorations. Swearingen spent months planning the “Wedding” birthday, making sure all the details were perfect for the big day.

Dawn wore her mother’s altered wedding gown and held a bouquet of red roses. She arrived in front of her home in a horse-drawn carriage. Family and friends watched as she wedded her groom, a Michael Jackson impersonator. Dawn’s mother said they chose the groom because a Michael Jackson impersonator in Las Vegas once knelt and kissed Lori’s hand.

“Well, she about passed out,” Swearingen laughed.

The wedding had a four-tiered wedding cake with a doll topper, twinkle lights wrapped around the trees in the back yard, white candles lining the streets, and food that few neighbors contributed to the celebration.

“The one thing she has always wanted to be was a bride. And now her dad and I have made that happen,” Swearingen said. “Everything she has ever asked for, we’ve just made it happen.”