My Big Prom My Life


My Big Prom

Documentary following Lewis, a young man with a big dream - to host a prom for 150 teenagers who were too unwell to attend their own.


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Transcript


LineFromTo

Hi, I'm Lewis. Do you want me to repeat that? I've told you this,

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I can't smile on camera, it makes me feel awkward.

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Oh, gosh.

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Oh, gosh.

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I'm Lewis and I'm organising a mega prom for over 150 young people.

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It'll be for teenagers who have been too poorly

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to go to their own school prom.

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I want them to have the most glamorous and magical night ever.

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It's going to be so, so epic.

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-I've got my ticket.

-And I've got my ticket.

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And I've got my ticket to the prom.

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But there's still so much to do, I'm going to need a lot of help.

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I need a lot of help.

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HE LAUGHS

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# My life #

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This is my younger sister Jess.

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Hi.

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Are you OK to do the voiceover?

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Can you do the voiceover?

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-No, you do it.

-Why do I have to do it?

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-Why not you?

-Can you not do it?

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Why not you?

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OK, I'll do the voiceover.

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JESS: We are a close family so we always support one another.

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Hi.

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This is our older sister Chloe,

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our dogs Poppy and George...

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DOG BARKS

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..and our mum.

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Hi!

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Mum will be doing some of the filming which might be a little

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embarrassing, but she will only film of the bits Lewis is OK with.

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HE WHEEZES AND LAUGHS

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Stop getting close.

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How much are you wanting to film me for?

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I like filming you, you're my son.

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Why are you doing this to me?

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Even before Lewis started to plan this mega prom,

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I was so proud of him.

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He won a teen hero award.

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The one and only Lewis!

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MUSIC: Pillowtalk by Zayn

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And this is Lewis, everybody!

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CHEERING

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Nick Grimshaw gave Lewis his teen hero award

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cos of a very special charity he set up.

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-ALL:

-Friend Finder!

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Friend Finder host events which helps children who missed a lot of

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school due to long-term illness find friends.

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I'm very proud of Friend Finder

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and I do think it's made a lot of changes

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and differences in people's lives,

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because having a friend is one of the most basic things in life

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and everyone needs a friend.

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JESS: Lewis now wants to create a night that none of his

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guests will ever forget, and he's appointed a top team -

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Callum, Hannah, Eddie, Jasmine,

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George, Billy, and Eden.

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They have already booked the biggest and the best venue in town,

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the Guildhall, and are now trying to figure out how to fill it.

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We've had lots of applications for the Friend Finder prom.

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What else is it that we need to do?

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Well, we're in the process of contacting different people

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to get dresses and suits donated.

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We're getting the e-mails out to the different food companies.

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What kind of celebrities were you thinking of approaching?

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There's a massive list.

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Matt Terry, KSI.

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The Vamps. Like boybands.

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The Vamps, right.

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Ed Sheeran.

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Oh, it would be so good to get Ed Sheeran, wouldn't it?

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-It would be really good.

-Wouldn't that be?

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VOICEOVER: Wow! That's so ambitious.

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Shall we discuss and go through the timeline?

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Yes.

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We need to get the press release out in two weeks,

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start e-mailing out the invites

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and then sorting out the dress fittings

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and the suits between the 14th and the 20th of April.

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And then...

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Second of June, Prom Day.

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ALL: Woo!

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APPLAUSE

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Can you guys really pull this off?

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-Yes.

-Yeah.

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Look at us - what says here that we can't?

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SILENCE

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LAUGHTER

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But they need to raise £15,000 to fund the prom and Lewis has to work

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out how on earth he'll be able to contact a pop star.

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Oh, my God, this is too much for my brain to take in.

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All the prom guests missed out on their own school prom

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because they were unwell. Lewis knows how this feels,

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as he's spent so much time in hospital himself.

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He's had 13 operations in just 15 years.

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BEEPING

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Hospital, in my mind,

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it feels like a second home to me cos I'm in here a lot

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to have different treatment done,

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so it's kind of something I've got used to over the years.

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When Lewis was a baby,

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he had a life-saving operation to remove a large brain tumour.

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Lewis also has hydrocephalus.

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This means there is too much fluid in his head.

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The doctors put a mechanical pump in called a shunt

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to drain the fluid out and keep Lewis alive.

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But if the shunt blocks, Lewis' life is at risk.

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It is extremely scary.

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I have four hours to have the surgery

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and get everything sorted and get it unblocked

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or I could be in the worst situation possible.

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The brain tumour also left Lewis with epilepsy.

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Epilepsy is like an electrical short-circuit in the brain.

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These short-circuits are called seizures.

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Lewis has at least 35 seizures every week.

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Lewis has had a bit of a rough night.

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He had a bad seizure about half past two this morning.

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Lewis.

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Lewis, you need to get up.

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Lewis!

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So, I know to everyone else I look like a normal teenager

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and it seems like there's nothing wrong with me,

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but I wake up in the morning and I can't move from the seizures

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and the point where I struggle to write and read

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so I struggle to get through my days.

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Not looking...

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too good now, bless him, he's fallen back to sleep again.

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You wake Lewis up, go on.

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HE SIGHS

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I'm not feeling the best today.

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Are you all right?

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Have you got...

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So, planning something so big, such as the prom is quite nerve-racking

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and pressurising, having all the work just put on your shoulders.

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But, it's all going to pay off in the end.

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Aside from raising £15,000 for the prom, Lewis's biggest worry

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is finding a pop band, but Mum just might have an idea.

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Who would you want to help you plan this prom?

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Nick. He would, he would probably be a good planner, so.

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He'd be so good, wouldn't he?

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He must be so busy, right?

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He is a busy man, so yeah, that's a fair point.

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He's, like, big-time celebrity.

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Mm.

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Are you sure you want to do this?

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It's the risk I'm willing to take.

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So how are you going to do it?

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SHE WHEEZES AND LAUGHS

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Wait, don't, wait...

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What are you going to say to him?

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Hard to think. I could...

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...just what I could say to get the message across to him.

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What would you say to him if you were face-to-face?

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Um...

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HE CHUCKLES

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"Hey Nick, do you remember me?

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"It's Lewis."

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-Yeah.

-Um...

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-What else do you think you can...

-And if he just stands there with no

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response then we know for a fact he doesn't remember me.

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SHE LAUGHS

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"Hey Nick, do you remember me?

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"It's Lewis from the Teen Awards.

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"I need some advice on the planning of the massive prom I'm organising.

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"Thanks, from Lewis."

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-Oh!

-Here we go.

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Are you really going to do it?

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-I guess.

-Go on, you press it.

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Here we go.

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Done.

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Sent.

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Oh, my God, it's got two ticks, it's actually been delivered.

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Crazy. What am I doing?

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SHE LAUGHS

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Well, what do we do now?

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I don't know. It's too late now.

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I can't believe you've just text Nick Grimshaw asking him for help.

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OK, right, if he doesn't reply,

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-cos people must ask him for help all the time...

-Mm-hm.

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So, let's not get too excited.

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Yay!

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SHE LAUGHS

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HE LAUGHS

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Lewis.

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Nick's text.

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Read it, read it, read it, read it, read it, read it, read it.

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The suspense is killing us.

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Read it out loud.

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"Hey, Lewis. Great to hear from you.

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"That sounds fine.

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"Why don't you come to Radio 1 one day and meet us

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"and chat through some ideas?"

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That's cool.

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HE LAUGHS

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That is really cool, let me see?

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-NICK:

-Hello, good morning everybody, it is Monday morning on BBC Radio 1.

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It's Nick Grimshaw with you, on the Radio 1 Breakfast Show till 10am.

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OK, so come in here.

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This is... This is the studio, Lewis.

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So this is where we do the radio from.

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This is my, yeah, this is my spot in here.

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-Fun stuff.

-So, welcome.

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All right, so who's the prom for, Lewis?

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So, basically I'm organising the prom for children with challenges

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in their life - so they have disabilities and for that reason

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they've missed their prom, so I'm basically organising the prom

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to invite them so they get to experience what it's like

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to have a prom and hopefully they...

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-Yeah.

-..have a good time.

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That's a really cool idea, that,

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to make sure everyone gets to experience it

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-and everyone gets to go.

-Yeah, exactly, yeah.

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So how many people are you thinking are going to be at the prom?

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So, I reckon about 300, 400 people.

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-So this is going to be big?

-Yeah.

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-It's a big old, big old party, this.

-Yeah.

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What, what do you still need to do?

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So you've got the venue, you've already got people asking to come.

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-Yeah.

-Yep.

-But there are a few people,

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a few extra people we're wanting to come.

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And who's that, like, acts and bands and things like that?

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Yeah, so we don't know how to sort of approach them and

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-see if they can attend the event on the night.

-OK.

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Pop stars' diaries are insane, like, they are booked,

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-they're probably booked to do stuff till Christmas.

-Yeah.

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Actually, they work like, like dogs.

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They literally work every single day.

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But the other thing that we could do is get on to new bands before

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-everyone else.

-Yeah.

-So we could see who's on in the area and, like,

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what bands will be up for coming to play.

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So we could look into that, which could be really fun.

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It'd be great to have Little Mix there.

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-Yeah.

-But I think you want to make the night about, you know,

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-what it's about - about having...

-Yeah.

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..all these people coming together and who have not been to a prom

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who are getting to experience it for the first time.

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-Yeah, yeah. Makes sense.

-Yeah.

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Or the other thing I thought could be good is, cos we have so many

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-people coming through the doors...

-Yeah.

-..at Radio 1,

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so we could always get them to record a message and then you

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could have a bit of the night where you put a screen up and then

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you could have all these messages.

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Yeah, that's a good plan...

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-Yeah!

-..come up with in such a short time.

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Yeah. We should go into party planning.

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-Yes.

-Let's do it.

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-We'll go down in history.

-LewisFest.

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Well, good luck with it Lewis.

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-Yeah. Cool. Great.

-Thanks, Lewis.

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-Hello, Mum.

-What happened?

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It went a lot better than what I thought, to be honest and,

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and I'm happy.

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I think you should be happy.

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I'm chuffed. I'm chuffed.

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HE GROANS

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You're going to break my neck.

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SHE LAUGHS

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Jasmine also has some really good news.

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My main job has been finding the dresses from donations.

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I started it by giving a Facebook post out

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and I got over 200 shares

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and it went really popular.

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Guys, we got another one!

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Yay!

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It's brilliant, like, the choices

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and selection I've got for the girls.

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I mean, they're going to actually have a choice and we did it,

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with just the local community's help.

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That's so cool - and Nick is on the case.

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Lew's dream is starting to feel so real now.

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But just as everything was going so well...

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Today is a quite stressful day, Lewis had...

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a really big seizure about four o'clock this morning.

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Hello, sweetheart, are you all right?

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HE EXHALES

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Are you all right?

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I'm all right.

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-What's the matter?

-It really hurts.

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Everything hurts?

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Yeah.

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You had a seizure last night, that's why.

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Mm.

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Even after such a terrible night,

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Lewis won't give up on planning the prom.

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And Friend Finder doesn't give up on him either.

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Surprise!

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# Happy birthday to you!

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-Hip hip!

-Hooray!

-Hip hip!

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-ALL:

-Hooray!

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CHEERING

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Happy birthday, Lew!

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Happy birthday, Lewis!

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-Happy birthday, mate. Have a good one, yeah?

-Happy birthday!

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Happy birthday, mate!

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But Lewis doesn't have much time to celebrate.

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The prom isn't far away now, so Chloe's helping to supercharge the

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fundraising campaign by helping Lewis create a video about his life.

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I don't think you realise how, like,

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poorly you actually are until you see photos like this.

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Yeah.

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A teenager with disabilities chose to celebrate his 16th birthday

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by posting a video on Facebook.

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I have to be honest - I had a tear in my eye as I watched it.

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Facebook has now seen it viewed more than 3 million times.

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11 million views so far.

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Lewis?

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You've got a living room full of people and big cameras to film you.

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God.

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You made the video.

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I'm so embarrassed.

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-I don't know what I've done.

-SHE LAUGHS

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I didn't think it through.

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This was a complete shock to me, when this happened.

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In a few minutes, we're going to take you over to the studio to get

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-some make-up on first.

-Make-up?

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What?

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SHE LAUGHS

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To be honest, I didn't know it was going to have that much of an impact

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and be that successful of a video and get that many views and...

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It's a pleasure to talk to you both.

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And, Lewis, I know it's difficult coming on here with all these

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cameras but the fact that you've been so open and honest and...

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Congratulations, so many people are seeing this video and

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it's making a difference to so many around the world. Thank you.

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Lewis, that was amazing.

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So many e-mails and messages are coming in,

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from complete strangers offering to help you out.

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-Really?

-So incredible,

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all these people are just sending such lovely messages.

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Facebook is just going absolutely crazy.

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So many donations have come through.

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Do you think we're actually going to get enough money to do the prom?

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Hopefully we can reach the target.

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So what's the target?

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£15,000.

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-OK, drum roll.

-Drum roll.

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Drum roll. OK...

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Look at the target right now.

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OK, no, no, no, no.

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-Can you believe that?

-OK, we're nearly there.

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Do you know what? I think this is going to be

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absolutely massive now, Lewis.

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To be honest, I don't know what to say.

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-How does that make you feel?

-Scared.

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And I know you haven't got a meeting scheduled till Monday,

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-but I think you need one before cos...

-We need to get, um, all, like

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the Friend Finder lot together sooner.

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ALL: Yay!

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Good job, Lewis!

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Where are we now?

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Well done, Lewis!

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APPLAUSE

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I'm so proud of you, Lewis.

0:18:290:18:30

Now the money is raised, the invites can go out.

0:18:300:18:33

All around the southeast of England,

0:18:450:18:47

teenagers are now really looking forward to this night.

0:18:470:18:50

Teenagers who were too poorly to go to their own school prom.

0:18:500:18:53

I am going to be wearing a long red dress.

0:18:550:18:59

It's got a bit of sparkle in it as well, of course.

0:18:590:19:01

And it's a bit poufy.

0:19:020:19:04

I'm definitely looking forward to making friends at the prom and just

0:19:040:19:07

meeting people like me,

0:19:070:19:08

who are similar to me and who've been sick as well,

0:19:080:19:10

because they can really understand what you're going through.

0:19:100:19:13

I'm going to be wearing a grey dress

0:19:130:19:17

and I'm probably...

0:19:170:19:19

I don't know what to say... A flower crowney thing, I don't know.

0:19:200:19:24

I've got a dress and it's a bit darker than this,

0:19:240:19:28

strapless, and really long,

0:19:280:19:31

flowery and a sparkly.

0:19:310:19:32

SHE LAUGHS

0:19:320:19:33

So, when I was four, I was diagnosed with a brain tumour.

0:19:330:19:37

I don't go to school very often.

0:19:370:19:40

I tend to stay home a lot.

0:19:400:19:42

In my little pit.

0:19:420:19:44

Which is just me in a duvet cover.

0:19:440:19:46

I've recently had some surgery on

0:19:460:19:49

my jaw and my cheekbone here because,

0:19:490:19:52

where my tumour was, it literally just ate everything

0:19:520:19:56

on the right side so I've had to wait ten years for this to be done,

0:19:560:20:00

so it's literally like my first time to, like,

0:20:000:20:03

dress up and literally play princess.

0:20:030:20:05

SHE LAUGHS

0:20:050:20:07

And I'm really excited and, like,

0:20:070:20:09

the prom has given me something to look forward to.

0:20:090:20:12

But then Lewis has a really big seizure.

0:20:190:20:22

Me and Mum have been up all night with Lewis.

0:20:240:20:27

He, um,

0:20:270:20:29

has been having seizures all night and Mum's with him now.

0:20:290:20:34

Yeah, it's been a really horrible,

0:20:370:20:39

difficult night and Mum has phoned the hospital...

0:20:390:20:44

..and we're just waiting for them now.

0:20:450:20:48

How are you feeling now, Lew?

0:21:050:21:06

Pretty terrible.

0:21:090:21:10

It's just been hectic and I've just been,

0:21:100:21:14

um...

0:21:140:21:16

exhausted, but seizures interrupt during the night.

0:21:160:21:19

Lewis is just having tests, but he has to be here for a whole week.

0:21:210:21:25

Hi, Lewis.

0:21:270:21:28

-Hi, hello again.

-Hi.

0:21:280:21:29

Hi, nice to see you both again.

0:21:290:21:32

So, you have the EEG, we know it's made you feel rotten though,

0:21:320:21:35

you felt to rotten haven't you?

0:21:350:21:37

-Very.

-Yeah, yeah, so it's not been an easy week for you.

-No.

0:21:370:21:40

For some young people, it's very straightforward

0:21:400:21:43

but nothing's ever been straightforward for you.

0:21:430:21:46

-No. Never.

-Yep, yep.

0:21:460:21:48

So, do you think Lewis' epilepsy will ever get better?

0:21:480:21:51

To be honest, Lewis, when a young person like you has epilepsy,

0:21:510:21:56

the chances that it will just go away itself and get better

0:21:560:21:59

are very small.

0:21:590:22:01

Nothing's impossible, but I don't think it's going to go away.

0:22:010:22:04

So, don't give up, mate.

0:22:040:22:06

-WHISPERING:

-I never do. Don't worry.

-No, you never do, do you!

0:22:060:22:08

Don't worry. Don't worry about that, I never give up.

0:22:080:22:11

I hope Nick has some good news.

0:22:130:22:15

Lew could really do with some now.

0:22:150:22:16

Hello!

0:22:160:22:17

Exciting, it's almost prom night.

0:22:170:22:20

Is Lewis there?

0:22:200:22:22

He is, yeah, hang on, I'll pass you over.

0:22:220:22:24

-Hello.

-Hi, Lewis.

0:22:240:22:26

How are you doing?

0:22:260:22:28

Yeah, not too bad.

0:22:280:22:30

Are you excited?

0:22:300:22:31

Oh, I'm excited, but nervous at the same time,

0:22:310:22:34

-if that makes any sense.

-Right.

0:22:340:22:36

Well, you need to not get too stressed

0:22:360:22:37

cos it's going to be really fun and we've got this really great,

0:22:370:22:40

up-and-coming new pop star

0:22:400:22:43

called Jerry Williams and she's going to come and perform.

0:22:430:22:46

We're going to have loads of celebrity messages,

0:22:460:22:49

which you can play out.

0:22:490:22:50

I'm so excited. I can't wait.

0:22:500:22:52

Honestly, what you're doing is so amazing, Lewis.

0:22:520:22:54

You're going to make a lot of people really, really happy and

0:22:540:22:57

you're going to create a night, and that's so important that

0:22:570:23:01

they've got these amazing memories and sort of, you know...

0:23:010:23:03

It'll be one of the most important nights in their lives.

0:23:030:23:06

No pressure then, Lew.

0:23:060:23:07

-It's going to be mega.

-Yeah.

0:23:070:23:09

Good luck with everything, Lewis. It's really good to catch up.

0:23:090:23:12

-Yeah.

-I'm glad that you're excited.

0:23:120:23:14

-I'm so excited.

-Bye!

0:23:140:23:15

See you later!

0:23:150:23:16

So what have you got, Lewis?

0:23:180:23:19

A tonne of suits.

0:23:190:23:21

I'm just praying that nothing goes wrong.

0:23:340:23:36

I'm praying everything goes exactly how it needs to go.

0:23:360:23:39

Well, I'm so proud of Lewis.

0:23:510:23:53

In the last five months, he has gone viral,

0:23:530:23:55

raised £15,000,

0:23:550:23:57

and with the help from Nick and the Friend Finder team,

0:23:570:24:00

sourced a pop band, 320 dresses and 75 suits.

0:24:000:24:05

Lewis has had over 750 seizures, but he has never given up.

0:24:050:24:09

SHE LAUGHS

0:24:090:24:10

BBC 5 Live.

0:24:130:24:14

The school prom has become a new rite of passage for teenagers.

0:24:140:24:17

Except each year, around the country,

0:24:170:24:19

there are always young people who miss out.

0:24:190:24:22

Now in Portsmouth,

0:24:220:24:23

the first-ever prom for these teenagers is being held.

0:24:230:24:26

It's going to be so special. Just look behind me -

0:24:260:24:29

Portsmouth Guildhall is looking absolutely stunning.

0:24:290:24:32

It's amazing.

0:24:320:24:33

I really wasn't expecting it to be, like, this big and...

0:24:330:24:36

I literally was just at hospital and

0:24:360:24:38

I had to rush here so it's been a bit manic,

0:24:380:24:40

but definitely worth it. It's amazing here.

0:24:400:24:43

Today I brought my dad.

0:24:430:24:45

He's my daddy, I always want to have him with me.

0:24:450:24:47

Very lucky and very honoured that she chose her father,

0:24:470:24:50

out of all the men you could have brought.

0:24:500:24:52

SHE SCOFFS AND LAUGHS

0:24:520:24:53

I think she looks absolutely stunning

0:24:530:24:55

and I've told her several times,

0:24:550:24:57

very proud of her.

0:24:570:24:58

-Are you going to tear up now?

-Probably, darling, I usually do.

0:24:580:25:01

And now, all Lewis has to do is give his speech.

0:25:080:25:11

Hopefully Jerry has some advice.

0:25:110:25:13

I'm so excited to perform tonight.

0:25:150:25:17

I've got to give a speech and sort of stuff like that and I'm always

0:25:170:25:21

nervous about being on stage and stuff.

0:25:210:25:23

The key is not to put pressure on yourself,

0:25:230:25:25

just think it's normal to feel nervous,

0:25:250:25:27

take a deep breath and you'll know, it'll just be fine afterwards.

0:25:270:25:30

-Yeah.

-So, I think it's just go with the flow.

-Just hope everything

0:25:300:25:32

-goes great.

-Thank you. And your speech as well.

0:25:320:25:34

-Looking forward to hearing it so...

-Gosh.

0:25:340:25:36

-Thanks for having me. You're going to be all right.

-Gosh.

0:25:360:25:39

Lewis is really struggling, he's really not very well,

0:25:430:25:45

he's had so many little seizures tonight.

0:25:450:25:47

So, I'd like to actually invite Lewis onto stage.

0:25:540:25:56

APPLAUSE AND CHEERING

0:26:010:26:03

CHATTERING

0:26:170:26:19

Um, really all I want to say is -

0:26:220:26:26

just thank you, everyone who's here tonight,

0:26:260:26:29

just coming along and...

0:26:290:26:32

basically enjoying yourselves and showing your support.

0:26:320:26:35

APPLAUSE

0:26:350:26:38

CHEERING

0:26:380:26:39

-It's Olly Murs here.

-Emeli Sande.

0:26:570:26:59

-It's me, Rita Ora.

-Joey Essex.

0:26:590:27:00

Hope you guys have an amazing time.

0:27:000:27:02

I love what you're doing, keep it up.

0:27:020:27:04

CHEERING

0:27:080:27:10

Thank you very much.

0:27:140:27:16

My breath was taken away honestly, I was just speechless,

0:27:160:27:19

it was just so perfect, it was something out of,

0:27:190:27:21

like, a fairy tale.

0:27:210:27:23

I didn't really believe it to be honest, it was pretty amazing.

0:27:230:27:26

And seeing all the people in their beautiful dresses and everything

0:27:260:27:29

as well was really, really lovely.

0:27:290:27:31

This is my dream come true...

0:27:320:27:35

and I've made more friends than I ever have in my 16 years.

0:27:350:27:38

It's nice to hear so many people have gone through something like me

0:27:400:27:44

and there are people out there that...

0:27:440:27:46

I don't have to give up hope and it's OK to be different.

0:27:460:27:50

Just thank you so much.

0:27:500:27:52

Thank you.

0:27:520:27:53

That was a really goodnight, that was.

0:28:000:28:02

Yep, it was great, it went really, really well.

0:28:020:28:05

I'm well proud of you for pulling that off.

0:28:050:28:07

Let's do it again next year.

0:28:070:28:09

You'll do another one?

0:28:090:28:11

No. I'm going to do two.

0:28:110:28:12

MUSIC: Lightning Bolt by Jake Bugg

0:28:230:28:26

Fifteen-year-old Lewis is a young man with a big dream - to host a school prom for 150 special teenagers who were too unwell to attend their own.

Lewis knows how it feels to miss out as he too has spent so much time in hospital. Despite having a brain tumour himself, which sometimes leads to as many as 35 epileptic episodes a week, he never gives up. To keep his dream alive Lewis enlists help from friends, family and even Radio 1's Nick Grimshaw.

However his world is turned upside down when a fundraising video reaches 31 million people and he is caught in the eye of a media storm. Will it throw all his prom plans off track, or will the teenagers get to go to the ball?