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Waitress and Limo Driver Work Together To Surprise Special Needs Student for Prom

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For decades, prom has stressed out high schoolers. From wondering what they’ll wear to navigating the social minefields of weighing romantic interest, the big dance can lead to a lot of worries.

Then there are students like Cooper Tilling who think they won’t ever get a date at all. See, the 18-year-old young man from Winchester, Virginia, had a disadvantage that his classmates at Handley High School didn’t share.

He’d been born with a chromosome microdeletion, a genetic abnormality that can result in all sorts of difficulties. Various physical abnormalities and falling on the autism spectrum aren’t uncommon.

“He is a very unique person not just in his constant happiness, but there are no other reported cases of his exact deletion,” Cooper’s mother, Alison Tilling. “When he was born, Dr. Caldwell of Winchester Pediatrics gave us the best advice when he said, ‘Let’s not ever put him in a category where there are ceilings or set expectations just because he has a chromosome abnormality.’

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“He was right. Cooper amazes and brightens every room he walks into.”

Though Tilling didn’t doubt that Cooper would go to his school prom, she feared that she might be his only accompaniment. But two acquaintances stepped in to prove her very wrong.

Tilling contacted First Class Chauffeur Services, and when its owner, Dwayne Seldon, heard about Cooper’s case, he decided to donate his services. Seldon had recalled driving Cooper to events in the past.

Then Alyssa Campbell, a waitress at a local restaurant who had befriended the Tillings said she would be Cooper’s date.

So on the night of prom, Tilling took Cooper and Campbell to dinner and found Seldon waiting for the couple in a stretch limo outside.

Seldon coached Cooper in the finer points of how a gentleman treats a lady at a formal event, and you know what? The 18-year-old wasn’t the only one who had a great time at the dance.

“(He) was a gentleman throughout the evening,” Campbell said. “He showed me around, and I met all of his friends, and there are many, many of them. I was getting tired. I had to take my heels off.”

Cooper even got to show off a spinning dance move and at the end of the evening, Campbell gave Cooper a kiss on the cheek.

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Cooper told The Winchester Star that he had a great time at the dance and plans to attend next year.

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A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine.
A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine. Most days find him crafting copy for corporate and small-business clients, but he also occasionally indulges in creative writing. His short fiction has appeared in a number of anthologies and magazines. Loren currently lives in south Florida with his wife and three children.
Education
Wheaton College
Location
Florida
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Entertainment, Faith, Travel




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