Kind stranger eases Mikaela's school formal blues

FORCED to withdraw from her final year of high school due to a debilitating illness, Mikaela Peters thought her high school formal dream was over.

Suffering reactive arthritis and on medication that leaves her immune system vulnerable to even the most common of colds, 17-year-old Mikaela turned to Facebook to try to sell her formal dress.

With no chance of getting to her formal, as she had been forced to leave Chancellor State College, it was the kindness of a stranger that helped ease the pain just a little for Mikaela.

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Katie Barnett, a part-time photographer, slotted Mikaela in for a free photo shoot with the dress she had chosen especially for her formal, and the grateful teen wanted to express her gratitude.

"A couple of months ago I posted up on Sunny Coast Community Board and I was actually trying to sell the dress," Mikaela said.

"She (Ms Barnett) commented offering me a photo shoot free of charge, and it was amazing.

"I got about 90 photos from the shoot.

"It's an awesome feeling knowing there are still good people out there."

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A determined Mkaela said she intended to beat her illness and head to university to become a paramedic.

She said the random act of kindness had had a profound effect on her, and had boosted her spirits during what had been a tough 12 months.

"I just wanted to say a huge thank you to Katie,'' Mikaela said.

"I could never thank her enough for what she's done."

She said Ms Barnett had even organised hair and make-up artists free of charge to help Mikaela's formal wish come true.

Now Mikaela is spreading the word about Ms Barnett's amazing effort.

Mikaela urges people seeking photography work to get in touch with Ms Barnett on Facebook, under Katie Barnett-Photographer.

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