Celebrities often seem unreachable, but sometimes they surprise us and show us just how much they really care for their fans. There have been numerous stars who’ve gone out of their way to grant wishes for their young and sick fans, from visiting children’s hospitals to arranging private one-on-one meetings. These stories are sure to melt your heart.
When 13-year-old Victoria heard that the Make-A-Wish Foundation was going to grant her wish of meeting her idol, Australian pop star Cody Simpson, she was beyond ecstatic. The teen, who was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma, was flown out to a concert venue and escorted to a green room that was stocked with special gifts and Victoria’s favorite snacks. Cody then entered the room, holding a dozen roses. They chatted for a bit, and she had an opportunity to ask him whatever she wanted before he left to perform. During the show, he announced Victoria as his special guest, brought her on stage and serenaded her with his song, “Angel.”
Spreading Christmas Cheer
For the past three years, Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence has visited Norton Children’s Hospital on Christmas Eve in her hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, bringing some cheer to the sick children stuck spending their holiday in the hospital. The mega star stops in to see all the children, and takes photos with the staff and kids. The pictures of smiling faces depict just how happy everyone in the hospital is to see her. Jennifer has stated, “My family and I have met so many wonderful children on our visits to the hospital. Their strength and courage is inspiring.”
Bombing Victim Gets A Double Surprise
Eleven people were injured during the Boston Marathon bombing. One of them was Jeff Bauman Jr., 27, who had lost both of his legs in the explosion. An Associated Press photo of Jeff being escorted away from the horrific scene in a wheelchair became widely circulated. While being treated at Boston Medical Center, Jeff got a surprise visit from both actor Bradley Cooper and New England Patriot Julian Edelman. Both celebs happened to stop in at the same time, which was completely unplanned. Following the visit, Edelman Tweeted, “Visited #survivor #stud #hero Jeffrey Bauman Jr. today. He was looking great and is a true inspiration.”
Summer Of Dreams
Eight-year-old Reef Carneson’s life hasn’t been easy. Reef has acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and has spent the majority of his life living in a hospital. Reef, a huge fan of Pharrell Williams, always dreamed of meeting the singer/producer, and this summer his dreams finally came true, thanks to famous pot dealer turned cancer advocate Milk Tyson. Tyson and Reef sent a video to Pharrell asking him to FaceTime with the boy. Pharrell did a bit better than that; he had a car bring Reef and his family to his concert in Cincinnati, put them up in a five-star hotel, gave them backstage passes, and brought Reef onstage during “Happy.”
Who You Gonna Call
During the filming of the Ghostbusters remake, the cast — Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones — decided to show up at the Floating Hospital for Children (a sect of Tufts Medical Center in Boston). They were dressed in their full Ghostbuster costumes, complete with proton packs. They stopped in to visit all the children and allowed them to hold their props. The hospital posted photos on their Faecook page and wrote, “Thank you for taking the time out of filming today to put a big smile on our patients’ faces!”
Take Me Out To The Ball Game
When he was just a baby, Kyle was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy, a condition that impairs muscle movement, often leading to an early death. While Kyle may be limited in his ability to move, his love for baseball has no limits. He still manages to swing a bat and run bases whenever he has the opportunity. He’s a huge fan of the Arizona Diamondbacks, and Make-A-Wish helped bring Kyle’s dreams to life. Team members Adam Eaton and Willie Blomquist visited Kyle and brought him to Chase Field. There he found a locker with a personalized uniform and bobble head. He then got to practice with the team, and later that night, he threw the first ceremonial pitch at their game.
Racing Against The Odds
Rylee, 12, has suffered from Noonan syndrome since birth, but has defied the odds. She’s managed to ride a bike and cheerlead, despite the fluid in her brain and lack of muscle tone. Her biggest passion is NASCAR, and her favorite racer is champion Kasey Kahne. So when Kahne personally invited Kylee to Daytona (through the help of Make-A-Wish), Rylee was in heaven. The day she spent with him was magical, filled with hugs and a race around the Daytona track. She and Kahne created a secret handshake, and he taped two pennies that she had given him (one with his birthdate and one with hers) onto his dashboard, for luck.
The Beibs Brightens Lives
Superstar Justin Beiber has a bigger heart that we may have suspected. Justin recently visited a children’s hospital in Orange County, and really went out of his way to spend some time with numerous kids on an individual level. He gave out high fives, posed for photos, and even said some prayers with the children and their families. At one point, he asked that the cameras be shut off so that he could really focus on his time spent with them. This visit wasn’t the first time he’s done something like this; he’s visited other children’s hospitals in the past, during which he even sang songs for any of the kids who requested it of him.
Superhero Sized Hearts
Actors and football fans Chris Pratt (Guardians of the Galaxy) and Chris Evans (The Avengers) decided to make a unique bet last Super Bowl. Whoever lost had to go to the other’s charity of choice, dressed as their superhero character. Evans won the bet, having rooted for the New England Patriots, but still decided to pay a visit with Pratt to his choice, the Seattle Children’s Hospital. Evans dressed as Captain America and together they handed out toys to the children. He then accompanied Pratt, who was dressed at Star-Lord, to his charity pick, Christopher’s Haven in Boston, and handed out toys to the kids there.
When Derek Jeter was just a rookie, he established the Turn 2 Foundation, whose mission is “to create and support signature programs and activities that motivate young people to turn away from drugs and alcohol.” In December of 2011, Jeter and the Yankees held a special Christmas event for 300 children in Detroit associated with the foundation, with a special screening of Alvin and the Chipmunks: Shipwrecked. Jeter then surprised the kids with a special visit, Santa by his side, and handed out special gift bags. Jeter has mimicked this in following years, visiting different hospitals with Santa at Christmas time, spending some one-on-one time with the children.
One Last Gift
Karina Chen, 15, battled bone cancer for five years before passing away last October. Earlier in the year, Karina got to experience a once-in-a-lifetime gift. She was a huge fan of the band Florence & the Machine, and was forced to miss a concert she was looking forward to seeing with her best friend because of her illness. Singer Florence Welch then surprised Chen with a special visit to the hospice, where she sat on her bed and gave the teen a private performance. Together they sang two of the band’s songs, while friends and family looked on.
Queen Bey Creates “Irreplaceable” Memories
Twelve-year-old Taylon Davis, like many young girls, day-dreamed of meeting Beyoncé. Unlike her peers, Taylon is living on borrowed time due to an inoperable tumor in her brain. In 2013 the Make-A-Wish Foundation helped make Taylon’s wildest dreams come true. Taylon got a front row seat to her idol’s concert, during which Beyoncé hugged and kissed Taylon, and performed “Survivor” beside her, dancing with her fan. This wasn’t the first time Beyonce teamed up with Make-A-Wish. Previously another young fan who suffered from Epidermolysis Bulls, a life-threatening disease, was brought to a Beyoncé concert and accompanied the singer onstage, singing a duet to the song “Irreplaceable.”
Binding With Friendship Bracelets
When Ryan Seacrest told singer and actress Selena Gomez about her 13-year-old mega fan Hana Hwang, the star made a special visit to meet the teen. Hana suffered from a rare and fatal genetic disorder called progeria, which causes children to age eight times faster than the normal person. Selena visited Hana at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, and spent her time with the girl making beaded bracelets. Hana then posted a heart-warming video expressing her thanks, showcasing the special jewelry, and calling Selena her hero. Hana unfortunately passed away two years after the visit.
Putting Fans On Pedestals
Aaron Paul of Breaking Bad fame is known for being especially good to his fans, often even calling them up on the phone. While working on the film Need for Speed in Georgia, Aaronmet and befriended 22-year-old fan Austin Childers who was suffering from a rare mitochondrial disease. He visited Austin in the hospital numerous times, even bringing his wife along. He often Tweeted about Austin, referring to him as his hero. When Austin passed away in 2014, Aaron Tweeted, “Thank you for everything. You have brought such joy and love in all of our lives. RIP my beautiful friend.”
Dollin’ Her Fans Up
NBA player John Wall’s five-year-old daughter Miyah is a superfan of Nicki Minaj. The little girl is battling cancer, and when Wall posted a video on Instagram about how badly his daughter wanted to receive a wig from her idol, the superstar quickly responded, ““Hi Miyah!!!! Let’s see what we can come up with for a pretty little princess. ;)” Minaj went to meet Miyah, and gave her a special pink wig. The two hungout for a bit, making sure to take some fabulous pictures with Miyah rocking her new Barbie hair.
Taylor Swift’s heart is as big as her fame. The star has granting numerous children’s wishes to meet her through Make-A-Wish. Four-year-old Janele shared that wish, and though it wasn’t granted by Make-A-Wish, it came true all the same. Janele spent 10 months battling terminal brain cancer, during which she and her mom created a bucket list, checking items off one by one. She finally had one wish remaining: to dance with Taylor Swift. News of Janele’s bucket list spread, and after thousands of tweets with the hashtag “ShakeItOffJanele”, Swift finally got wind. She FaceTimed Janele for 20 minutes. Janele passed away not too long after, but at least all of her dreams came true.
A Sweet Send Off During Final Moments
Twitter came through again in the story of Triona, 15, from Ireland. Triona was in a fierce battle with cystic fibrosis, and told her family that her final wish was to speak with Ed Sheeran. Twitter exploded with a #SongForTri campaign, quickly reaching Sheeran. The singer called Triona at the hospital and sang her favorite song, “Little Bird” to her over the phone. As he sang, she slipped into a deep sleep. After her family hung up the phone, the doctor informed them that her heart had stopped. Her family said she died with a smile on her face.
Tupac’s Softer Side
The late Tupac Shakur is known as one of the greatest rappers of all-time, but what many don’t know is that the celeb had a heart of gold when it came to his young fans. The parents of an 11-year-old boy named Joshua’s sent Tupac a letter, explaining that their son was dying from complications of muscular dystrophy, and and his final wish was to meet the rapper. Within hours of receiving the letter, Tupac flew from New York to Aberdeen to the boy’s home. He didn’t allow any cameras or press to film the meeting. He spend over 30 minutes talking with the boy, who died a few hours after he left.
Tears For Gaga
Lady Gaga is a role model to the youth because of her message of self empowerment and individuality, so it’s no wonder why Hanna, a high school freshman born with a very rare eye cancer, asked Make-A-Wish to introduce her to the pop icon. Hanna received a call that her wish was coming true, and in just a few hours, Hanna and her entire family were whisked away in a limo to a Lady Gaga concert. They went backstage, and upon the initial meeting, everyone, including Gaga, was in tears. Gaga invited Hanna to ask her questions, and they all joined in for a giant group hug. Hanna described the encounter as life changing.
A Boy Meets His Super Hero
Just about every little boy dreams about meeting Batman. This was four-year-old Jayden’s dream. Jayden was battling MSD leukemia for the second time and given only months to live. Jayden’s hometown of Youngstown, Ohio, organized a Facebook event in his honor titled “Lighting the Bat Signal for Jayden”. 30,000 volunteers joined together to try and spread the word that Jayden’s wish was to meet the real Dark Knight, Christian Bale (this was pre-Affleck). When Bale heard about Jayden, he flew him and his family out to LA and took them all out to lunch at Disney’s Club 33. This story actually has a happy ending; Jayden’s cancer has since gone into remission.