Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Police Make Video to Help Teen with Down Syndrome Battling Cancer Meet Taylor Swift

By Kathy Ehrich Dowd from People:

Taylor Swift, we hope you're reading.

A 13-year-old superfan who has Down syndrome and is battling cancer really wants to meet her idol, and a police department that knows a thing or two about the power of the Internet has made a video that they hope will make her dream come true.

Delaware's Dover Police Department made international headlines in January when Officer Jeff Davis was recorded jovially lip-synching to "Shake It Off" while driving his cruiser.

The viral smash earned the approval of the pop star herself, who re-Tweeted the department's video. Her record company even sent the department tickets to the upcoming Taylor Swift concerts in Philadelphia on June 12 and 13.

Fan letters poured into the police department from all around the world, but one standout note hit close to home: The mother of Victoria Marsh of Middletown, Delaware, wrote to the officers and told them about her daughter, a dedicated Swiftie who has Down syndrome and was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer, in December.

Eager to help, the department offered to give Victoria the tickets, but she is unable to attend and chose to send her supportive sisters instead.

"We went to give Victoria tickets, but her doctors wouldn't release her to go because of chemotherapy and the risk of infection," a Dover Police spokesman told The News Journal.

So instead, the department did something that has the potential to be even bigger and better.

Working with the family, the Dover Police created a poignant YouTube video titled "Victoria's Wish," which chronicles her journey and describes her dream to FaceTime or meet Swift when she's in the area next month.

The tear-jerking video paints a picture of an upbeat teen who loves to swim, sing, dance and adorably dress up as Taylor Swift for Halloween.

But as the video explains, Victoria's world changed drastically in December when she told her parents about a pain in her ankle. That pain led to her cancer diagnosis, making her just one of three people in the country with Down syndrome and this form of cancer.

In February, her left leg was amputated below the knee and she received a prosthetic she dubbed her "Fancy Foot."

Her ebullient spirit has remained as she continues to cope with chemotherapy treatments. She attended her hospital's prom and goofs off with friends from her hospital bed.

The soundtrack that keeps her spirits high? Taylor Swift tunes, of course.

The police department released the video last week, and together with friends and family, they started the hashtags #SwiftAWish and #TeamVictoria to attract the superstar.

No word from the superstar yet, but #TeamVictoria seems eager to keep fighting until the inspirational teen's #SwiftAWish comes true.

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