Luis Velasquez Jr. a football player in his junior year at Natalia High School in Natalia, Texas, may just have taken the cake for heartwarming prom proposals when he asked his friend, Tiffany Gay, in April 2015. Luis managed to get the whole school involved by staging a fire drill, and Tiffany seemed to be one of the only people who wasn’t in on the surprise. When she stepped outside, hundreds of her peers were lining the walkway leading up to Luis, all waiting in giddy anticipation of Tiffany’s big moment.
Tiffany was overwhelmed by all the attention when she first stepped outside, so instead of making her walk through the crowd alone, Luis came back to comfort her. He gave her a big hug and some words of encouragement before taking her hand to guide her to the surprise. Tiffany had tears in her eyes as Luis led her to a line of students holding signs that spelled out “Prom?”and she happily accepted as he handed her a bouquet of pink roses.
As a result of a rare genetic disorder called Prader-Willi syndrome, Tiffany is extremely short, has limited speech and suffers chronic hunger/overeating that can be life-threatening. She also has both diabetes and scoliosis. For special needs students like Tiffany, it can be exceptionally hard to feel like you fit in during high school, so a prom proposal from the nicest football player in the school is a really big deal.
For Luis, though, the prom proposal wasn’t meant to be such a sensation; he explained to KENS5 News that he had no idea if Tiffany would even say yes. He explained, “I thought when she was crying she was going to tell me no.” He wasn’t looking for praise or Internet fame either; he said that the only reason he asked a friend to film the “promposal” in the first place was so that his mother could see it. The friend who filmed, Jasmine Monique Vasquez, uploaded the video to her Facebook account where it received over 6 million views — something Luis had never expected.
Luis planned the proposal as a way to repay Tiffany for all the kindness she had showed him in all the years that they’ve known each other. When they were in seventh grade, Luis asked Tiffany to dance at a party, and she’s had a crush on him ever since. Luis told KENS5 News that she has baked him cookies for holidays and after both his knee surgeries. Asking Tiffany to prom was just a way for Luis to show gratitude for all of Tiffany’s kindness throughout their years of friendship.
In the wake of Luis’s prom proposal going viral, a GoFundMe page was created to collect donations for Luis and Tiffany’s prom experience. The original goal was set at $1,000, but donations came pouring in and amounted to a whopping $7,848. According to the page, everything collected above the initial $1,000 will go toward a spinal surgery for Tiffany.
Be sure to watch Luis’s beautiful proposal in the first video below, then check out the interview that Luis and Tiffany did with their families for USA Today in the bottom video. Luis and Tiffany may be young, but they can certainly teach us all a profound lesson in acceptance and understanding.