Army vet to help special couple get to prom

READY FOR PROM: Granbury High School senior Jeremiah Santibanez asked freshman Jessica Nickell to prom Friday evening. A stranger answered Santibanez’s mother’s Facebook plea asking for a vehicle that could accommodate two wheelchairs and made the evening special for the two students.
Photo by Mary Vinson | Hood County News

Getting out of a fancy car and escorting a date to prom is not as easy as it sounds for one high school senior. But it’s possible, thanks to the generosity of a stranger.

Granbury High School senior Jeremiah Santibanez, 19, is in a wheelchair, but that is not stopping him from taking his special girl to prom on April 29. Santibanez met freshman Jessica Nickell in special education classes and the two became friends.

The question was how to get the two lovebirds to prom. Army soldier Devin Spencer saw a Facebook post about the need for a vehicle large enough for the two to travel in together to prom. One of his own children has special needs and uses a walker, so Spencer said he understood the importance of giving Santibanez and Nickell the most traditional experience possible.

So Spencer has been redecorating his shuttle van with a wheelchair lift to take Jeremiah to Jessica’s door so he can escort her to the shuttle and to prom, just like a true southern gentleman should.

“It is really overwhelming in a beautiful way,” Santibanez’s mother, Marie, said. “I hope this encourages other moms with disabled children to keep looking for a way because there is always a way.”