Julian, 16, has always relied on music to help him through tough times, especially songs from his favorite band, Aerosmith.
When he was recently diagnosed with a condition that affects his nervous system, Julian turned to Aerosmith lead singer Steven Tyler and listened to his music to keep him going.
“I found myself listening to his music more and more because I feel a connection with the words in his songs,” said Julian, who spends a lot of his time seeing doctors for his condition.
“I love Steven Tyler’s voice and personality, and he has helped me through many challenges with my illness,” he continued.
During this time, Julian’s mom, Veronica, decided to begin the wish referral process for her son.
“I knew a wish would be something for him to focus on that was positive with everything he was going through,” said Veronica. “Plus, everyone we met was so wonderful and welcomed us as a part of the Make-A-Wish Arizona family.”
While there were many options to choose from, Julian knew that attending an Aerosmith concert was his one true wish.
“I remember [Aerosmith] came to Arizona for a concert one time, but I couldn’t go because it was too expensive,” said Julian. “Finding out my wish could be granted and that I could actually meet Steven Tyler in person was more than I ever thought possible!”
In the time leading up to the concert, Julian could not contain his excitement. He counted down the days until his family traveled to Los Angeles, California to meet his idol.
“When I finally met Steven Tyler I could barely utter the word ‘hi’ because I was so speechless,” said Julian. “Everything felt like I dream. It still feels like a dream.”
“I hadn’t seen my son this happy in a long time,” said Veronica. “It was one of the most emotional moments of his life.”
After their initial meeting, Steven Tyler autographed a t-shirt and hat for Julian and took some fun selfies with him before heading backstage to get ready to perform.
“We stayed and watched the concert which was awesome, but the moment Steven Tyler gave me a hug was the best experience,” Julian said.
Julian is now a sophomore in high school and his family agrees that this whole experience has been such a pleasant surprise.
“I still think about Julian’s wish every day and it makes me happy to think about the joy this experience brought my son during a difficult time,” said Veronica, who one day hopes to become a volunteer for Make-A-Wish Arizona when Julian gets better.