ALAMEDA, Calif. (KTVU) - The Raiders partnered with Children's Hospital Oakland to host prom at the team's headquarters in Alameda for teens who are current and former patients. All have serious, life changing medical conditions.
"I'm just excited...real excited," says Briana Nathaniel, "For girls, you get to feel like a princess ...going with this beautiful gown...nails done...basically you get pampered."
The 15 year old suffers from sickle cell anemia...a genetic blood disorder that causes her physical pain. Her condition led to falling behind in school with constant visits to the hospital.
She says it's coping has been stressful, "The pressure of maintaining good grades and get your work in on time when youre not there to turn your homework."
But on this night, the Oakland native and Raider fan says prom with her favorite team has lifted her spirits.
"You get to understand what attending prom feels like ...the getting ready," says Sana Shoostari of Stockton.
She has cerebral palsy- and has undergone 16 surgeries so far- to eventually enable her to walk .
"Having this prom experience definitely help aid the feeling of ...oh I missed out," says the 19-year-old.
Raider players escorted the teens as they walked the red carpet into the event.
Raider and NFL defensive star of the year Khalil Mack tells KTVU he didn't go to prom himself...because it was too expensive. He wants these teens to enjoy this rite of passage.
"Seeing those smiles on those kids faces ...being able to have fun with them," says Mack. 14-year-old Gavin Payton of Pittsburg had spinal surgery just six months ago.
He walks tall in his tuxedo on this big night.
"Tonight, I just need a break. I want to have fun," says Gavin.
During the prom, Sana gets up out of her wheelchair to dance...something she couldn't do before... a moment she has been waiting for.
"Disability isn't your destiny," says Sana.
The teens say this night is one they've looked forward to for a long time.
Now, it will be a memory they'll cherish for a long time.
They say it's a night they are able to forget their challenges and embrace the joy of being a teenager.