Everyone Hopes That School’s Jock Will Invite Them To Prom – But He Has A Special Girl In Mind

High school senior Brendan Ritchie is a very well-rounded individual who enjoys sports and gets good grades. He is well-liked at his school, Fort Zumwalt West High School in O’Fallon, Missouri. Brendan is popular and could have asked anyone to the prom, but he had one special girl in mind.

He sat with the same friends at lunch for the last few years of his high school career. One of his friends is Ellie McCool. She is also a senior and lives with a disability called Rett syndrome. Rett syndrome is a rare genetic neurological disorder that occurs only in girls. It affects nearly every part of a person’s life, including speaking, walking and even breathing in some cases.

Ellie’s mother, Mickie McCool, said that she was diagnosed when she was 4 and that she had developed normally until then. One day it was like a switch had been turned off, and Ellie was completely different. However, Mickie and all of Ellie’s friends say she is still in there and is a very positive person who constantly smiles.

Brendan is good friends with Ellie and knew that she would have more fun at prom with a date, and he wanted to be the person to enjoy it with her. Ellie’s favorite movie is “Iron Man,” so Brendan showed up wearing an Iron Man mask and had a sign asking if she would go to prom with him. She said yes happily and that is what led to one of the most special prom nights in history.

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Brendan thinks very highly of his friends. He told the KSDK news team what his friends mean to him. He said, "All of them are such nice people and I'm very blessed to call them my friends." In the footage from the interview, all of Brendan and Ellie’s friends can be seen smiling and laughing together around the lunch table, as well as playing card games after school.

Brendan had this to say about Ellie and why he wanted to ask her to prom. He said, "She's just a very happy person. She is always positive. She's always got a smile on her face. She's just a really awesome girl and she deserves to go to prom with someone and I felt if it was going to be anybody, I'd like it to be me." Brendan sounds like such a thoughtful and respectful young man.

All of Ellie’s friends love and support her, not just Brendan. Her best friend, Nicole Orf, said, "She really is very bright and she is very caring and loving." Everyone insists that Ellie is very intelligent and a great friend. In the footage, you can see the effort her friends go to in order to keep her included at lunch and while playing games.

Another one of Ellie’s friends, Elizabeth Steiner, gave a statement about Ellie and Brendan going to the prom together. She said, "Every girl dreams of having a date to her senior prom, so the fact that Ellie was going to have one too was awesome.” These teenagers are inspiring with how much they care for one another.
The footage covering Brendan and Ellie’s story has almost a million views on YouTube. The story touched the hearts of people from around the world and some stopped to leave comments sharing their thoughts on the prom proposal. One person wrote, “What an amazing group of teenagers. So loving and caring. Great job parents. To the young man who took her to prom, you’re a bright and sweet young man.”

Another person left this comment, “Absolutely wonderful! What a remarkable guy and group of friends! In a world like today where hate seems stronger than love or acceptance It's nice to know there are still some young people who have a heart and want nothing back in return.” Brendan really does stand out as an incredible young man.

Everyone seems really impressed with Brendan and his friends. Another commenter said, “That's a wonderful group of teens and a young gentleman that anyone would be proud to attend prom with. Parents must be so proud of these kids.” Any parent would be proud of their child for acting with so much integrity and respect.

Elli and Brendan’s story is really a message of hope in a world where kindness is not often fostered. One person wrote, “This gives me a true sense of hope for the future if there are still young people like this.” No matter how callous the world seems, there are still people out there who care for each other indiscriminately. Brendan and Ellie remind us to celebrate our differences and value great friendships.

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