She was set on going alone as all classmates had already found someone to go to the prom with. But her dad, Joakim Ruther, took matters into his own hands and called an old friend of the family.
- I explained the situation and Mathias first question was, what color Sofie's dress was so he could match her outfit.
It is a moved father who tells Sydsvenskan how the Helsingborg-man and Malmö Hockey player Mathias Tjärnqvist without hesitation stands as a cavalier to Sofie at the prom in Helsingborg on May 28.
- He is amazing. Once when we were discussing my daughter's future, Mathias told me that he would be there no matter what. Sophie was thrilled when I told him that he is going with her to the prom, or else she had to go alone, says Joakim Ruther.
Sofie has Down syndrome, and when she was younger, the hockey player's mother used to take care of her. One time she couldn't, and then her son had to step in as an assistant.
Today he is 36 years old and looking forward to pulling on the tuxedo again and relive the high school prom.
- To experience the prom again is fantastic fun, there was no doubt when I was asked, says Mathias Tjärnqvist.
Since Sofie went to kindergarten the hockey star has been there as a babysitter, friend and now cavalier at the prom. In the mailbox there was often postcards stamped in the US with greetings from his teammates in the NHL.
Despite the long distance, Mathias has kept in touch with the family in the last 15 years.
- He is nice, kind and sweet. I have longed, it will be fun and exciting to go to the prom, says Sofie Ruther, adding that the party will now be just as she had dreamed it would be.
- When her older brother was at the ball two years ago he went in a convertible. She also wanted to go to prom in a convertible.
Now the convertible is booked, everything is prepared for the big day. In June Sofie graduates as a student at Valhall college. With a degree of hotel and restaurant program, she wants to learn more about the industry on an internship in Malmö.
- This would any dad do, I do not think is something strange at all, says Joakim Ruther and hopes that the sun shines on the big day.
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