Teen with incurable disease choses death

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September 23, 2016
AP In this July 22 photo, Jerika Bolen goes through the final stages of hair and makeup before her prom. The ballroom was packed as well-wishers flooded in throughout the night to celebrate with the 14-year-old Appleton girl who suffers from a terminal illness and is expected to die by the end of summer. Dubbed “J's Last Dance,” the prom was a final wish for Jerika, who has chosen to have her ventilator disconnected at the end of August because the chronic pain from her disease, spinal muscular atrophy type two, has become overwhelming and the prognosis is bleak.

APPLETON, Wisconsin. (AP):

A Wisconsin teenager who drew attention for deciding to end her life instead of continuing a battle with an incurable disease has died.

Jerika Bolen's mother, Jen, told Gannett Wisconsin Media that the 14-year-old died yesterday at Sharon S. Richardson Hospice in Sheboygan Falls.

Jerika suffered from spinal muscular atrophy type 2, which destroys nerve cells that control voluntary muscle activity. She had never walked and had movement only in her head and hands.

Jerika's decision drew widespread attention and led to a challenge from disability rights organisations who asked child protection officials to stop her from going without her ventilator.

More than 1,000 people attended a special prom in her honour in July.