Dream to meet Carrie Underwood coming true for teen with inoperable brain tumor
BATON ROUGE - A group of people anxiously awaited the arrival of a Live Oak High School student at Rotolo's Pizzeria on Millerville Road Wednesday Morning.
Julianne Long, who goes by Juju, was expecting some news Wednesday but had no idea it would be so exciting! Diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor in 2010, Long has been a St. Jude patient for nine years. Earlier this year she suffered a massive stroke and continues to deal with memory loss, headaches, weakness and being tired all the time. But the smile on her face gives none of that away.
"I just try to be as normal as possible," she said.
As Juju and her family arrived at Rotolo's, members of the Dreams Come True organization and Louisiana State Police was there to greet her. Dreams Come True is a non-profit organization granting dreams to children in Louisiana with life-threatening illnesses. Organization Executive Director Becky Prejean surprised Juju with her dream, which is meeting Carrie Underwood. This Sunday, Juju, along with her brother and parents will attend Underwood's concert in Lafayette and meet the singer. The experience is going to be that much more memorable for Juju, who says Underwood inspired her to start singing.
The announcement took a few minutes to sink in.
"I was pretty shocked, I was not expecting to meet Carrie Underwood," Juju said.
The Louisiana State Police Trooper's Association says it first met Juju at an event a few years ago. LSP has been involved in her life since then, including helping her learn to play guitar. In a couple of weeks, LSP will hold its annual charity fundraiser to support charities, like Dreams Come True. Funds raised from that event are helping to pay for Juju's dream.
"With that money is how we make things like this possible," state trooper Chase Huval said. "To see the smile on her face and see these wishes come through like this, that's why us troopers do what we do every day."
To learn more about the Dreams Come True organization, click here.