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9-year-old grants wish to a 10-year-old Taylor Swift fan

9:55 PM, Aug 23, 2011   |    comments
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By Mike Bush

St. Louis, Mo (KSDK) - A standing ovation should sometimes be given before a concert.

Like thousands of other people, little Elizabeth Chor had tickets to see Taylor Swift at Scotttrade Center.

"She's been getting ready all day," said her mom Julie Burdge.

But Elizabeth wasn't supposed to make it to this concert, or even to her 10th birthday. She was born with a rare genetic disorder called Jarcho-Levin syndrome which causes malformed bones in the ribs and spine.

"They said she wouldn't live through six months," said Burdge.

Adopted from an orphanage in Guatemala, she's had to grow up in U.S. hospitals, enduring more than 15 surgeries.

"If you think about it too much, you would just melt into a puddle and cry all day," said Burdge.

Elizabeth now has titanium ribs and a will to match. When she's not drawing pictures or playing the violin, she's listening to the music of Taylor Swift.

But getting to go to the sold out concert was a complete surprise. A gift from a friend, she's never even met.

Six hundred miles away in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, 9-year-old Jada Carlson and her mom bought tickets to the concert on line.

"Our original plan was to head out to Missouri," explained Faith Carlson.

Jada is also a huge fan of Taylor Swift.

"I thought it would be really cool seeing Taylor Swift singing all her songs," said Jada.

Then Jada decided she might have an even better idea.

She'd heard of the "Make-a Wish" foundation which grants wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions and thought, what if they could find a little girl who would appreciate the concert as much as she would? It's the kind of gesture they talk a lot about in her house.

"We're not financially rich," said Faith, "But we're rich in love and when you have an abundance of anything, you should give it out."

"I thought it would be really good to give than receive," said Jada.

So, a few weeks and a few phone calls later, Elizabeth's mom woke her up with the good news.

"I couldn't believe it!," screamed Elizabeth.

"When somebody does something like that," said Burdge, "it renews your faith in people."

Elizabeth's road is still a long one and she will likely face more surgeries but on this night, it can all be forgotten.

"It just gives me this really happy feeling," said a smiling Jada.

"Thank you so much!," said Elizabeth as she made her way into the concert.

A wise old lesson from wise young girl showing that giving is truly having.


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