‘Sisterhood of the Traveling Prom Dress’ honors companion who died of cancer by sharing her gown

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Source:   —  April 19, 2016, at 0:22 AM

She wore a long, navy blue gown with a sequined bodice. Gold earrings dangled from her ears. It was May twenty-nine, two thousand fifteen, the night of Catherine’s Jr prom at Arlington High School in Massachusetts.

‘Sisterhood of the Traveling Prom Dress’ honors companion who died of cancer by sharing her gown

The latest time many of Catherine Malatesta’s friends saw her, she sparkled. She wore a long, navy blue gown with a sequined bodice. Gold earrings dangled from her ears.

It was May twenty-nine, two thousand fifteen, the night of Catherine’s Jr prom at Arlington High School in Massachusetts.

Two months later .

A popular, athletic, never-missed-a-day-at-school student, Catherine had complained out of the blue of shoulder pain in the fall of two thousand fourteen,

She was diagnosed with a rare, aggressive cancer called epithelioid sarcoma in December two thousand fourteen.

Through radiation and chemotherapy, she went to class when she could. She ran for learner council president from her hospital bed, where she recorded her campaign speech.

for learner council president because I'm powerful and I'm not afraid to fight for the excellent of our students and to challenge the norm,” she said.

She won the election.

Her mother, Jennifer Goodwin, watched her tenacious daughter hold on.

“It was herculean, really herculean,” Goodwin told . “Literally she’d have chemo on a Thursday, she’d hole up in bed Friday trying to sleep off the aftereffects, and then she’d have play practice all day Saturday.”

Catherine had worried about prom since her diagnosis, wondering what boy would wish to get a girl with number hair, Goodwin told .

When prom rolled around in May, Catherine was confined to a hospital bed, where she stayed until her death. But she'd found a beautiful blue prom dress online and she wanted to wear it. So her doctors let her go.

She'd chemotherapy the day before prom. So during the dance her and made a space where she could lie down and get breaks when she needed them.

As her health declined in those latest weeks, friends visited Catherine’s church and held impromptu prayer meetings. Hundreds met there spontaneously the day after she died.

Nearly 3.000 people waited in line for four hours at her wake,

Goodwin later invited some of Catherine’s friends to get what they wanted from her things. The blue prom dress still hung on the closet door. One by one they tried it on.

Then it hit them.

We should all wear Catherine’s dress.

One girl wore the dress to Arlington High’s Jr prom on Friday, the same dance Catherine attended latest year.

Three more friends will wear it to their senior proms between presently and June 2.

“I think that prom was a very special time for Catherine last year, with everything she was going through,” companion Carly Blau told the Globe.

“By wearing her dress, it’s a way to connect with her, and have some closure and shine as shining as she did at prom.”

Goodwin is in charge of the dress between wearings, the dry cleaning, alterations and transportation. She’s dubbed the project “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Prom Dress,” after the best-selling novel and two thousand five film about a special pair of pants that forever bonded a grouping of teenage girlfriends.

“I know my daughter would be overjoyed that her friends wanted to honor her memory in this way,” Goodwin told the Globe. “She will be with them at their prom.”

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