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Taylor Swift, 10,000 carolers grant dying girl's last wishes

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Taylor Swift, 10,000 carolers grant dying girl's last wishes

By Stephen L. Betts. CREATED Dec 23, 2013

Taylor Swift and 10,000 Christmas carolers have helped 8-year-old Delaney "Laney" Brown make a couple of her wishes come true. Last Thursday, the little girl in West Reading, Pa., who loves music and loves to dance, was discharged from the hospital where she was being treated for acute myeloid leukemia, which doctors have said will soon claim her young life.

Her dying wishes were to meet the superstar entertainer and for some people to visit her at home for a night of caroling. Friday (Dec. 20), Laney got the opportunity to video-chat via FaceTime (Apple's software app) with Taylor. Then on Saturday night, the carolers arrived. While it was only a few at first, soon there were hundreds, then thousands. By the time they had fully assembled, some 10,000 carolers were singing outside the Brown's home. They continued for an hour, and even though Laney was too weak to go to the window to see the crowd, she was certainly aware they were there. A post on the Team Laney Facebook page features a photo of her, two thumbs up, accompanied by the caption, "I can hear you now!!! Love you!"



"I can't even express how I feel," said Krysta Rebe, who has a daughter Laney's age (quote via CNN).

Laney was diagnosed seven months ago and last week doctors told her family she has 70 percent cancer cells in her blood. In spite of the prognosis, on Monday, her father posted a message to Team Laney's 92,000 Facebook followers, saying, "I just want everyone to know there is still hope running through our hearts and we are about to head to Hershey (Pa.) to get some routine test done ... Your prayers are felt. Please send song of praise to heaven above, may the prayers of this world for my little girl be as an orchestra to the heavens above."

Another Facebook message summed up the thought that many in attendance most likely shared. Marianne Franken wrote,"As much as I want that miracle to be saving the life of an 8-year-old little girl, Laney, the miracle was an 8-year-old little girl teaching an entire community, town, city and the whole country the true meaning of Christmas. "

A fundraising site has been established to help offset the family's medical bills.

Stephen L. Betts

Stephen L. Betts

Stephen L. Betts ("Steve") is a Nashville-based journalist who started his career as a tour guide, karaoke operator and library assistant at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.