Boy knows Sister May Not Be able to Attend High School. Invites her to his First School Dance

15-year-old AJ Spader won thousands of hearts when he made his little sister Rebekah’s dreams come true. AJ invited Rebekah to his school’s winter formal dance and ensured that Rebekah received the VIP treatment. Here are some photos of Rebekah at her special evening.

AJ Spader, 15 years of age, knew he was eager to attend his first formal winter dance. Winter formals are a way for teenagers to get dressed up and invite a friend to the dance. 

AJ Spader, a 10-year-old brother, broke the mould and became a viral sensation after inviting Rebekah Spader, his younger sister, to join him at the O’Gorman High School winter formal for Valentine’s Day.

Rebekah Spader (10 years old) having her hair styled by her grandmother. Source: News | Source: News


While AJ considered inviting a regular date to his formal but decided that Rebekah was better than them all. Leading up to the winter formal, AJ asked Rebekah to the dance by drawing the Spader family motto, “broken, brave and blessed,”A large poster. 

AJ was not ashamed of their sibling relationship but he felt a little trepidation about asking Rebekah for the winter formal. “I was nervous, yeah,”He

“Her laugh is pretty great; it’s really fun to just be around her and just make memories,” AJ Of his younger sister. 

Rebekah Spader’s older sibling did her makeup for her special date to her brother’s winter formal. | Source: News


Rebekah was thrilled that AJ chose her as his date. On the evening of the winter formal in 2016, she looked like a princess in a blue dress with a shimmery neckline and a silver tiara. 

Rebekah was also gifted by AJ with a matching corsage. Rebekah’s 12-year old sister did her makeup and her grandmother made her hair flowy. 

Rebekah and AJ took many pictures with AJ’s friends, to capture such a lovely evening.

15-year old AJ Spader talks to ABC News after inviting his younger sibling to his winter formal. | Source: News


“It’s a lot of fun watching her… she’s excited, and she’s smiling,” Tony . Before the dance event, Rebekah had dinner with AJ’s classmates. 

She became too nervous about going to AJ’s high-school dance, but she had a wonderful time with AJ & his friends. 

ABC News Released a touching video showing the Spader family banding together to pamper Rebekah and capture her happiness on the evening of the winter formal.

Rebekah, AJ Spader and AJ Spader pose in photos during the days leading up to AJ’s winter formal dance. Source: News | Source: News


The video was viewed thousands of times and Penny Layne was the only commentator. Comment, “It’s obvious that these parents have raised their children with a great balance of love and discipline. I imagine they must be full to bursting with love and pride. Well done!!”

Rebekah and AJ shared many photos with AJ’s friends to capture the wonderful evening. The siblings’ parents were also proud of AJ’s friends for being such good sports.

“AJ and his friends embraced her and embraced the situation and didn’t blink twice that a little 10-year-old sister was going to hang out with them,” Tony . “That for me was the most special thing.”

Rebekah Spader and AJ Spader pose together with AJ’s friends and their dates during the hours leading to the winter formal dancing. Source: News | Source: News


Their parents were proud that everyone had fun during the lead up to the formal dancing. Their pride was mixed with sadness, however, as they knew what Rebekah’s future would hold. 

“It’s a joy-filed moment, yet there’s a little sorrow because you know that this is probably one of the last opportunities she’s going to have to do something like this,” Tony .

Rebekah was six when doctors diagnosed her as having myelodysplastic disorder. This is an aggressive type of cancer that prevents the bone marrow’s immature blood cell from developing into healthy, mature blood cells. 

Rebekah Spader and AJ enjoy dinner with their friends at the winter formal. Source: News | Source: News


Rebekah had a bone marrow donation, but it was unsuccessful. Rebekah was left with her parents after the unsuccessful surgery. DecidedTo stop the treatment and to allow her to live her remaining days as joyously as possible. 

After the Spader family RealizedRebekah didn’t live to be a teenager, but AJ knew Rebekah deserved a high school formal ballet year. “I want to spend as much time with her as possible while she’s still doing good,” AJ .

Rebekah was thrilled that AJ invited his sister to the winter formal. She loved school and it was a great idea. This was a loving tribute writtenAccording to her family, she worked hard to go to school until she couldn’t. Rebekah enjoyed socializing with her classmates during recess. 

Tony Spader and Stephanie Spader are Rebekah’s parents. News | News


Stephanie, the mom of the siblings, was there  pride in all her children for going the extra mile for Rebekah:

“…It makes me have a really happy mom heart knowing that maybe we’ve done something right raising kids that put other people first.” 

Tony also praised AJ’s kindness and generosity. “He’s thinking about his sister and she’s not going to get to go to the prom or the formal when she’s in high school because she’s probably not going to make it to high school, so he just wanted to give her that memory,”He said.


Rebekah passed away in August 2016 surrounded by her loving family. In her memory, the Spader family FoundedThe Rebekah’s Legacy Foundation. This non-profit organization helps children with cancer to receive gifts.

Paying tribute to her, the Spader family : “The love that came from this little girl was so sincere, radiant, and contagious…She was continually brave beyond her years as she fought through so many very difficult days.”

Although the Spaders’ loss of Rebekah at such a young age was heartbreaking, the foundation created in her memory continues to add joy to some of the difficult medical treatment that ill children need to undergo.

Rebekah’s glittery corsage to celebrate her special date with her brother at his winter formal. Source: News | Source: News

This story shows how the love and support of family can surpass all other types of heartbreak including those caused by terminal illness. This story was touched by you. Please share it with loved ones to help spread the message of love and positive family relationships during terminal illness.   

Click here for more information about the woman who did three jobs to adopt a boy she met at his funeral.


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