March 20, 2017
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While discovering her passion for music at a very early age, 15-year- old Natalie began performing at numerous church plays, talent shows and school football games. With a supporting family and music teacher, Natalie became a musical genius; taking guitar lessons, playing the saxophone and receiving vocal lessons at a Visual and Performing Arts Academy.
Unfortunately, in March 2009, Natalie was struck with pain in her back, uncontrollable fatigue and swollen lymph nodes. While it took a few months to figure out the medical issue, Natalie was soon diagnosed with Pre-B Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. For several days, Natalie would cry for help when she could barely move her legs. As she was often hospitalized because of intense migraines and a developing tumor, Natalie was also obligated to miss several weeks of school. During those difficult times, Natalie lost the support from several of her friends and was bullied for getting extra attention from teachers.
Near the end of her chemotherapy, Natalie began attending a virtual high school, where she could receive instructions in the comfort of her home. But the affects from Leukemia didn’t stop there and ultimately delayed her wish for several years.
Nevertheless, Natalie found her way back to music with the strength of her family’s ongoing support. After hearing a hit song from Australian rock band 5 Seconds of Summer, Natalie quickly realized that their upbeat lyrics lifted her frame of mind, empowering her to overcome depression and stress.
Following 7 years of battling Leukemia and enduring the effects of her treatment, Natalie knew it was time for her one true wish of attending a front row performance at the 5 Seconds of Summer tour to become a reality. While going the extra mile to make Natalie’s wish more magical than before, she and her family were invited to meet 5 Seconds of Summer in the most famously known music scene of this nation, Nashville, Tennessee.
In addition to a wonderful meet and greet and helping with sound check just before the concert, Natalie was inspired by Nashville’s preservation of country music. She discovered the past and present of vernacular music at the Country Music Hall of Fame, walked in the footsteps of superstars while at the Grand Ole Opry House and got a breath of fresh air while boarding the General Jackson Showboat cruise. But the most rewarding experience of Natalie’s wish happened during the concert, when she volunteered to hand over her front row tickets to a fan that was physically unable to walk. Check out photos from Natalie’s wish below!