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

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.

  • jon

    looks heavy…

    But at least when the awkward conversation comes up about her having “protection” she can point out that she is essentially wearing a chainmail dress.


    • I think it’d be great if she wore that next time she flies.

      • Jerry

        I can’t imagine it is dress you would want to sit in for any length of time

        • Kassie

          The sort of dress you want to take off the second you hit the hotel room after the event.

  • Gary F

    That dress would be even better if the dance floor had a disco ball.

  • Thomas Mercier

    My daughter spent some time in the NICU at Children’s right after her birth due to them only being able to establish an IV through her umbilical cord. Her health concerns were actually pretty minor but we were deeply appreciative to have the Ronald McDonald house as a resource for the occasional non hospital style meal served by supportive volunteers.

    • Kassie

      Last year I was able to prepare a meal at the Ronald McDonald house as a volunteer event and it was the most fun and rewarding volunteering I did all year. We got to plan a great meal, cook it with friends, and then serve it. Leftovers were packaged up for families to eat throughout the next few days.

      So if anyone is looking for a volunteer opportunity for a group, I highly suggest it. And if anyone wants help doing it, I’m available.

  • tboom

    >>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 … <<

    (note: The comic strip references "sex appeal", this is in no way a commentary on Ms. Ivers, she seems to be a lovely young lady. This is a commentary on 10,000 cans of pop … or soda for you non-natives.)