Saudia Shuler, the North Philadelphia business owner and single mother who gave her son, Johnny Eden Jr., a $25,000 prom to remember, says he more than earned it.
The 18-year-old was gifted a Dubai-themed prom party that included three tons of sand, a live camel, three dates, designer outfits, a rented Lamborghini, Rolls-Royce and Range Rover, and more.
Shuler told CBS Philly that her son is graduating with a 3.8 grade point average from a Philadelphia charter school, is a “standout” player on the school’s basketball team and is headed to Delaware State in the fall to pursue a degree in chemical engineering.
Shuler suffered a stroke in 2014, was diagnosed with thyroid cancer just over a year later and continues to experience seizures. Her son has helped her see through it all.
“I couldn’t walk. I couldn’t go to the bathroom on my own. He had to go through all that and still go to school. And I said, ‘If I make it through this, I’m going to make his prom the best,'” she told the New York Post.
Why Dubai? Shuler said she wanted to honor her son’s religion. Eden is a practicing Muslim. His mother is not, but she wanted to encourage his faith, which she said helped steer him through some of his hardest times.
The best part: This was just her backup plan. Originally, she’d planned to take Eden and his friends to Dubai to celebrate.
“He had too many friends!” she told the Daily Mail, laughing.