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Suburban Special Needs Student Gets Prom Date Thanks To Big Assist From Family

(CBS) -- The family of a high school senior with special needs wanted to make sure he had the chance to go to his prom with a date. It turns out, his date may be more excited than he is.

CBS 2's Dana Kozlov explains exclusion was never an option.

You might consider Prospect High School sophomore Colleen Doyle and senior Tom Erickson an unlikely prom pair. But then again, not really.

"Of course Tom should go to prom and if that means having a friend to go to with him to make him comfortable, then so be it," Colleen said.

Tom suffered a brain hemorrhage right after birth, leaving him with severe cognitive impairment. But his sisters wanted to make sure he experienced that senior rite of passage and went to work.

"So I thought that Colleen would be the perfect one to go with him," said Tom's sister Grace.

Tom loves the Blackhawks, so his sisters made a Hawks-themed sign, bought Blackhawks cookies and accompanied Tom to the big ask.

Colleen said yes and the all-conference water polo player even has her dress. It's red because they both like the Blackhawks.

Six years ago, Tom played in a park district basketball game and made a life-boosting bucket. His dad says this is just an extension of that.

"It's the culmination of everyone putting a joint effort together to include Tom," he said.

"He seems really excited about it," Colleen said. "I haven't seen him this happy in a long time."

She says that makes her "really happy."

"To have Colleen step up like this, such a wonderful young lady," Tom's dad Dave said.

Prom is June 3.

Tom wants to wear a red tux and Blackhawks bow-tie, not sure that's gonna happen. But Colleen says all of her friends and Tom's teachers have been very supportive.

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