Haven's Homecoming: celebrating a Winona Senior High School stud - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Haven's Homecoming: celebrating a Winona Senior High School student

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Winona, MN (WXOW) - -

Haven Dulek was just like every other high school sophomore, until two months ago when she was diagnosed with a rare disease known as "POTS". Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome is a form of dysautonomia, which affects the body's blood flow creating a dizzy/faint feeling during movement. 

Because of Dulek's rare disease, she had to give up her daily activities she enjoys like volleyball, colorguard and most recently, a night every high schooler looks forward to: homecoming. 

"I was diagnosed with POTS and so school concerned that something would happen at the dance, so they thought it was best that I would stay home."

So Haven did just that, while the rest of her classmates enjoyed Winona Senior High School's homecoming dance last month.

Stephanie Andreson-Stevens heard about Haven's situation through a Facebook post and wanted to do something special for Dulek.

"My husband and I heard about Haven's story on Facebook and it really resonated with us. My husband and I actually met in high school at our homecoming dance my sophomore year and just the year before I had been in a wheelchair. I remember being an ill teenager and it meant the world to have my friends close by and to look forward to things like homecoming to get through the harder times." Andreson-Stevens explained.

So Stephanie decided to pay it forward by coordinating with Haven's father, Brian Dulek, to create a night she would never forget.

"It's really nice to know that random people are doing this for me and putting so much effort into it and it just feels really amazing. I feel so loved." Dulek exclaimed.

Haven and her friends spent Saturday evening dancing the night away, all thanks to a complete stranger. 

"To be able to see the light in Haven's eyes and see her glowing and having a great time it just means the world to me." Andreson-Stevens said.

Toward the end of the night, Stephanie had one final surprise for Haven--crowning her the Homecoming Queen.

The newly crowned queen created special memories with her friends and family. All thanks to a complete stranger, who is now become a new shoulder to lean on. 

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