Abby, 7, from Norway, Maine always made sure she had her Taylor Swift album with her when going to the hospital for her chemotherapy treatment. So, it was no surprise to Abby’s parents that Abby’s wish from the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Maine was to meet rock star Taylor Swift.
“There were moments during Abby's leukemia treatments that we thought it would never end,” said Abby’s parents Gretchen and Brian Fleming. “She couldn't have been a better patient as she endured chemo, being poked for blood draws, and staying for days at a time at the hospital. For over two years our family tried hard to stay positive and upbeat. During the last few months of her treatment, the upcoming wish got Abby through some tough times. Abby's Make-A-Wish trip was a celebration...a way for us to put the journey with cancer behind us.”
Abby’s wish granters, Miranda Sepulveda, Terri Smith, Connie Bilodeau worked with Make-A-Wish staff to provide goodies and enhancements to Abby while she was waiting for her turn to meet her favorite rock star. Abby, in turn, provided something to Taylor Swift: a pair of sneakers that said “fearless” on the tongues.
“The joy it brought Abby was evident throughout the whole wish,” said Sepulveda. “The family was a pleasure to volunteer with. It was great to see how supportive they all were of Abby's wish and supportive of her in general. I feel thankful to have been a part of granting Abby's wish."
Abby, her parents and her three siblings met Taylor in Raleigh, NC.
“The look on Abby's face when she saw her favorite rock star for the first time was amazing,” said Abby’s mom. “The sparkle in her eyes and the smile on her face were priceless...something that had been lacking when she was sick.”
Abby’s father added, “Our experience with Make-A-Wish has been incredible. Our Wish Granters were very kind and made all of us feel special. We thank you all for making Abby's dream come true!”
Although the family did many things on her wish trip (go-kart riding at a fun park, visited Duke University, and more), Abby said her favorite part was the meet and greet with Taylor at the concert. “She was so nice,” said the 8-year-old little girl. “She was pretty. At the concert when it was her turn to sing everybody screamed and clapped and cheered. It was cool. I even did the wave! It was so fun!”
Abby was impressed that there were special effects with water and words of the song as well as heart confetti flying through the air. She said that her and her family caught the hearts and kept them safe for including in her frame with wish pictures. “Thank you for my wish. It meant a lot to me that you could grant my wish. It meant everything to me that I got to meet Taylor Swift.”
Abby’s brother, Matthew, said his favorite part of the trip was when he and his brother Andrew were go-karting and cut the first corner. “It was cool! I stayed in first for a couple minutes.” However, he said he also liked going to the Taylor Swift concert because “Abby was rocking out and loved it.”
Thank You: Wish Granters Miranda Sepulveda, Connie Bilodeau, and Terri Smith, Trolley Restaurant, Four Points by Sheraton Durham at Southpoint, Michael’s Limousine, Bridgette Arnold, Make-A-Wish Eastern Carolina