A super surprise for bubbly Joy

2013-02-23 00:00

FOR one disabled girl, her dream of seeing pop star Justin Bieber in the flesh will come true in May.

Joy (15) has been a living miracle since she was born.

She was placed with the Boake family at one month old and doctors said she would probably only have a month to live. She was born with brittle bone disease (osteogenesis imperfecta) meaning her bones would never fully develop, are very fragile and often break at the slightest bump.

But Joy has outlived all expectations and her bubbly personality and cheerful outlook have endeared her to all who meet her. The teenager, who is confined to a wheelchair, is in many ways just like other teens and one of her big dreams is to see teenage heart-throb Justin Bieber when he comes to South Africa in May.

A string of recent events helped ensure that her dream will finally come true. Foster mom Pam Boake, a local legend in her own right, was in the Victoria Pharmacy getting medicines for her foster children when the pharmacy assistant mentioned to another client that Pam Boake is an absolute angel.

The client, Diedre Carter, was intrigued by Boake and her brood and asked for more details.

Carter told Weekend Witness: “I was fascinated when she told me all about Pam and how she has fostered children for over 30 years and is absolutely devoted to giving children in need a home.

“I wanted to meet this amazing woman. My partner Roger Ferguson and I went to see Pam (70) and her husband Colin (75) and all of their current foster children. It was a humbling experience and we met Joy, who was such an inspiration.

“Joy told us how she was crazy about Justin Bieber and how disappointed she was that the tickets has been sold out within hours. I decided to make a plan for her and I managed to get her tickets.”

Boake said: “When Deidre contacted me and told me she had two tickets for the Bieber concert I knew Joy would be thrilled. When people heard Joy’s story they wanted to help. Someone has offered a plane ticket and someone else has sponsored accommodation. It’s been a miracle.”

Joy was over the moon. “I was so shocked I wanted to cry.”

She is going to one of her foster sister’s weddings as a bridesmaid the day before the concert and then it’s Bieber fever all the way. “I am a total Bielieber!” (fan speak for mega-fan.)

Joy has all of Bieber’s music on her BlackBerry and wears his favourite colour — purple — a lot. She plans to make a special T-shirt to wear for the occasion that says :“Mrs Bieber” on the back.

Boake will be accompanying her exuberant charge and says she has been doing her homework on Justin Bieber so that she looks like a fan too.

Joy also plans to wear her favourite perfume — Bieber’s Someday — and hopes he will sing her favourite song, Never say never, which is a fitting tribute to a fan who has never let her disability get in the way of her dreams.

Carter has also had sponsors offer to give the other Boake foster children a treat at uShaka Marine world, so while Joy dreams of seeing her pop idol, the others can start practising their swimming.

• trish.beaver@witness.co.za

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