Dear Ms. Swift,
Sorry, but I didn’t want to be presumptuous and call you Taylor, even though your name is spoken so often in our house that it seems that you are one of the family. Well, I know you are extremely busy, so I will get to the point. My reason for writing you is to let you know about my beautiful and courageous 14-year old daughter, Sarah Neal, who just absolutely loves anything and everything ‘TS’, and who has been fighting Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare type of bone cancer that affects only about 200 children and teens each year.
Since Sarah’s diagnosis on 08 September 2010, she has endured 35 multi-day chemotherapy sessions, 5 weeks of radiation therapy, had 7 surgeries (including 2 limb-saving surgeries), has slept in a hospital bed more than she has in her own bed, and has been unable to attend middle school for all but a couple of weeks total.
As any parents would, my wife and I have tried to provide any possible distraction to keep Sarah’s spirits up and her mind off of her battle, which is how we came by the Make a Wish organization. But Sarah is so unselfish that she used her Wish to take the family to Disney World in December, 2011, instead of using it to meet you, which I know is what she really wanted. Because she gave up the potential chance to meet you, we have done everything possible to have her see you in some way. We saw your Speak Now tour in Dallas and in San Antonio, which is actually where we now live and Sarah is being treated. I managed to get Red concert tickets to your Dallas show in May. We will be sitting in Section 441, Row 17, seats 1-5.
Now that you know a little about my brave daughter, I hate to do this, but I need to ask you for a favor. Completing even one of the following three requests would hold you dear in my daughter’s life forever:
1. PLEASE send Sarah a personalized letter, photo, or whatever, wishing her well. I would make sure it became a center point in her room. She has even started trying to play guitar because of you!
2. PLEASE reach out and pick Sarah to attend your Dallas pre or post-concert Tea Party. Meeting you would be the highlight of her life. Hanging out with you for longer than a couple of minutes would be truly epic.
3. PLEASE contact me and I can arrange for you to hang out at the San Antonio Military Medical Center’s (SAMMC) Pediatric Oncology Clinic while you are here in San Antonio for your concert (a very special Tea Party maybe?). The Clinic is secure, as you would expect, and is adjacent to the Pediatric Ward. I know you have visited our wounded warriors in the past at other military hospitals. Why not come visit another type of hero; military kids that quietly fight a different type of battle each day? I promise that you would forever cherish the time spent with our Oncology children at SAMMC.
Thank you so much for your time and for being such an absolutely fantastic role model for girls and women. Your talent speaks for itself, but the way you gracefully live your life is an inspiration to all. By the way, thank you for the song, Ronan, it was incredibly touching and obviously hit home for a family fighting the fight, especially to me as a father.
My contact info can be sent to you directly in a personal message if you are interested. God Bless you and all the children.
Scott Neal, Sergeant Major, U.S. Army
08 April, 2013
Help trend #SwiftForSarah