N.D. teen’s prom dress honors families fighting cancer

Gretchen Ivers

The first fitting of a prom dress for a North Dakota teen didn’t go all that well.

“It was pretty scratchy at first,” junior Gretchen Ivers tells the Grand Forks Herald.

That’s what happens when you make a prom dress out of pop tops.

Ivers made the dress out of nearly 10,000 of them, to call awareness to the mission of Ronald McDonald House, which provides accommodations for family of people being treated for cancer.

But the dress has a deeper meaning for Ivers, too. Her cousin’s infant son, Braxton Cords, was born premature and has been in and out of the hospital since he was born. She said doctors are not sure why Braxton was born early, but they gave him a year to live.

Now Braxton is 1½ years old, and though he is in the hospital, Ivers said she is thankful for the time she has had with him.

What stuck in her mind was how Braxton’s parents were able to stay near his side because they could stay at the Ronald McDonald House in Rochester several times. The dress was a perfect way for her to bring awareness to the Ronald McDonald House and its help for families.

“I thought this would be a cool way to make a statement and be able to tell people about the impact the Ronald McDonald House has had for me,” she said. “It really has been an awesome experience.”

After tomorrow’s prom, she’ll donate the dress to the Ronald McDonald House in Rochester, Minn.