Dying teen’s Roar cover goes viral

By Kirstin Buick
06 November 2013

Sixteen-year-old Olivia Wise from Toronto must have been over the moon when she received a video message from Katy Perry after recording a cover of Katy’s Roar.

There are hundreds of covers of the hit song on YouTube, but to Olivia, the song’s simple but powerful lyrics hold more meaning than most. Olivia has a brain tumour, and she is dying.

“Olivia is a fighter and has gone through the fire,” Olivia’s cousin, Jeff Kassel, who arranged for Olivia to visit the recording studio and cover the song, wrote on YouTube. “While her physical condition was rapidly fading, her spirit remained untouched.”

In Katy’s video response, she tells Olivia that she was “very moved”, and that Olivia sounded great. “The video really got to me and it moved everybody that saw it,” Katy tells Olivia with a smile, “So I just wanted to send you some love and some light, and tell you that I’m thinking about you. Keep roaring!”

The Liv Wise Fund for brain cancer research has been started in her honour, and aims to rasie $150 000 (R1,5 million). Olivia’s video has been viewed over 700 000 times on YouTube.

Since recording the video, Olivia’s condition has gotten worse, her family told CNN, and she is drifting in and out of consciousness.

Quoting the song’s lyrics, Kassel says on YouTube that she was “going through the fire” while she recorded the song.

“But you wouldn't know it, because she was dancing right through it. She is an inspiration, a champion, and my hero. This is her Roar.”

-Kirstin Buick Sources: huffingtonpost.com, billboard.com, cnn.com Share your thoughts:

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