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Hudson -- In a world where celebrities don't always measure up to their dream image, singer Taylor Swift succeeded for a McDowell third-grader's fantasy.
Page Gross, 8, has been a loyal fan of Taylor Swift for more than two years and thought of her as an older sister or best friend. She turned to her music when her mother, Elizabeth Gross, 41, was diagnosed last June with a rare bone marrow cancer and endured months of tests and treatment. Then doctors found a second type of cancer in December, and she had surgery for it.
"Our family has been on an emotional and physical roller coaster of hospital stays, doctor visits, multiple tests, biopsies, chemo and surgery ever since," Elizabeth said. "My first thoughts were my daughter is only 8. It overwhelms you. How many dreams can I help her do?"
Her husband, Marc, was by her side, and Page never complained, helped out at home and tried to cheer up her mother in any way she could.
"The hardest part is knowing my daughter is scared, and I can't eliminate that fear," Elizabeth said.
She realized listening to Taylor's music helped Page deal with her fears. It even made her smile.
That smile made Elizabeth determined to do something special for Page. She sent a letter to Taylor Swift about wanting to uplift her daughter's spirit and included a letter from her doctor confirming her own medical situation.
"Page also sent a big, sparkly care kit she'd made of things she thought would help Taylor 'in case she was having a bad day, too,'" her mother said.
It was the first time the family had reached out to a celebrity, and when they received a call in February confirming receipt of their requests among millions of followers, they didn't know if anything more would come of it, Elizabeth said.
Because she has hardly any energy, Elizabeth and Page listen to Taylor's songs during her quiet time.
"I hear her singing with her," Elizabeth said. "Taylor is her hero."
The family decided to travel to Omaha, Neb., and see the first Red Tour 2013 concert March 13 instead of waiting for Taylor Swift's concert in Cleveland since Elizabeth's illness is so unpredictable.
They bought regular "high-in-the-stands" tickets and hoped Page would be able to see Taylor Swift in passing and maybe say hello, but Elizabeth tweeted Taylor "just in case," and luck was on their side when security moved them down in front of the stage.
"We were literally in the front row, and Taylor was about a foot away from us," Elizabeth said. "Page started crying, and beaming and was so happy."
Page was able to see her hero, high-five two of her dancers and received two guitar picks, she said. Page hasn't stopped singing or dancing.
"It was an amazing thing they did," Elizabeth said. "It was a one shot in a lifetime dream come true."
When they returned home there was a package with an autographed "I love Page" photo, cds, a shirt, and other memorabilia from Taylor.
"We were emotionally overwhelmed at the length they went to help us," Elizabeth said. "We just want to thank Taylor, her family and staff for all they did for us."
Thank you Lord, for this beautiful story and for prodding the Taylor Swift people to be so supportive and generous to the Marc, Elizabeth and Page Gross family. And if it fits into your loving plan for this family, please heal Mom, in the name of Jesus.
That's awesome, We pray for all of you!