Teen with rare disease asks Taylor Swift to prom

6:46 AM, May 9, 2012   |    comments
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AURORA, CO (KUSA) - A high school student from Aurora is asking one of country's biggest pop stars for a favor. Devon Whitney, 19, has a rare disease that only a few people in the world have been diagnosed with.

It's called Oto-Palatal-Digital Syndrome (OPD). It affects Devon from his head to his toes. He's had more than two dozen surgeries since he was born.

"There are very few cases in the world that have been reported," his mother Tisha Whitney said. "Nine children were reported to have it when Devon was born."

The syndrome makes Devon look a little different. Because of it, he says gets picked on.

"People stare at me because of the way I look. They laugh at me and talk behind my back. And sometimes I can hear them," Devon said.

He hates when people do that.

"You want to say something, but you can't. And it hurts," he explained.

Devon is shy. It's just who he is. Aside from that, he's like any typical teenager.

"I like to go on Facebook," he said.

Devon finds it easier to live in a social world where he can speak freely and not be judged. With prom around the corner, he takes comfort in living online.

"I have no prom date because I'm afraid to ask anyone," Devon said.

But Devon decided to step outside of his shell recently by asking his dream girl to the prom. A girl named Taylor Swift.

"I really, really want her to be my prom date if that's OK with her," he said.

Devon did it by recording a video and posting it on YouTube. In it, he told Taylor how he gets picked on and how much he adores her. So far, the video has received more than 3,000 views.

"I just think she's the sweetest girl I've ever known. Because I saw her live in concert and I was like 'Oh my gosh, she's amazing!'" he said.

The thing you may have learned about Devon by now is that he is different. Unlike many of us, he actually has the guts to ask a superstar out on a date.

Devon's principal and classmates are rooting for him. If we hear from Taylor Swift, we'll keep you updated.

(KUSA-TV © 2012 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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