Arizona wish kid Janet may live in Phoenix, but her wish to meet Katy Perry made her feel like a true “California Gurl” –unforgettable!
“She is such a big fan that she is known in the hospital where she receives treatment as the ‘Katy Perry girl,’” said Kari, Janet’s mother. “When we met with Make-A-Wish Arizona, there was never any doubt what her wish was going to be — she had to meet Katy.”
Janet, who was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at birth, has spent many hours in hospitals receiving breathing and airway clearance treatments, completing bloodwork and working through different medications so she could get back to her “normal” 7-year-old activities.
“Listening to Katy’s music during a treatment is what gets Janet through those long hours,” says Kari. “She uplifts her, empowers her and encourages her to keep fighting.”
“My favorite thing about her songs is that they spread positivity,” Janet said. “She always makes me smile.”
As they waited for Janet’s wish to be granted, mother and daughter researched Katy Perry’s life and wrote a list of questions to ask her, such as her favorite color and why she named her dog Nugget.
“We could barely contain our excitement when we received a call saying Janet’s wish was going to be granted,” Kari said.
“I was super excited, but I was also kind of nervous,” said Janet. “I couldn’t believe I was really going to meet her.”
When the big day finally arrived, the night was filled with one surprise after another.
Janet was invited to meet Katy before the concert, and after being informed that only Janet could get Katy’s signature, others waiting to meet Katy started asking Janet for her signature.
“When Katy found out about people asking for my autograph, she said that I was the real star of the show that night,” Janet said. “It made me feel special.”
When Janet met Katy Perry in person, she asked Katy her favorite color (glitter), and why she had named her dog Nugget.
In response, Katy motioned for her assistant to bring out a surprise from a private room – it was Nugget!
“My favorite part of the whole night was hanging out with Katy Perry and snuggling with Nugget…” said Janet. “She gave me a huge hug before she had to go onstage.”
Another surprise occurred during the concert; when Janet’s favorite song, “California Gurls,” started to play, Katy shouted to the crowd, “This one’s for Janet!”
“When I heard her say my name, it was amazing,” Janet said. “There were thousands of people there, and she was dedicating the song just to me!”
Only one week after the concert, Janet again had to be hospitalized to receive IV antibiotics for multiple weeks. This visit, she had her own YouTube video of the concert – and Katy dedicating her favorite song to her.
“She watches it all the time. It calms her and still brings her so much joy,” said Kari. “We were just relieved that she was able to go to the concert. It gave her some hope and drive to really concentrate on being better, being like Katy. She has gained weight recently and looks so much healthier these days.”
Janet will be starting second grade in August and is excited to tell her school friends about the night she met her greatest inspiration.
“She was so pretty and really nice,” Janet said. “We talked for a long time, and I feel like she got to know me. It was even better than I’d thought it would be.”
“There are no words to describe our experience that night,” said Kari. “It was just magical. It definitely touched our hearts and will stay with Janet for the rest of her life.”