Avalanna Routh is six years old, and is battling a very rare form of cancer. She also is a huge fan of Justin Bieber. A family friend created a Facebook page dedicated to arranging a meeting between Avalanna and the teen superstar. Avalanna got to have a “date” with Justin Beiber, on Valentine’s Day.
Avalanna Routh is battling a rare form of cancer called AT/RT. The full name of the disease is atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor. It is a cancer of the brain. Every year, around three children per 1,000,000 in the United States are diagnosed with AT/RT. The survival rate for this disease is around 10%. More than 90% of the cases of this type of cancer are associated with a particular genetic defect. The cause of that defect is unknown.
Treatment for AT/RT can include surgery to remove the as much of the tumor as the surgeons are able to. Unfortunately, this type of cancer is a fast growing one, and complete removal may not be possible. Radiation therapy can be done after the surgery, to kill the remaining cancer cells. Chemotherapy can also be used as treatment. Cure rates for children who are over the age of three is at around 70%.
Avalanna is a huge fan of Justin Beiber. Last year, the Jimmy Fund Clinic pediatric cancer center at Boston’s Dana- Farber Cancer Institute staged a pretend wedding between Avalanna and Justin Beiber. The star was not in attendance, (and may not have been aware of it). For the pretend wedding, Avalanna wore a red T-shirt that said “Future Mrs. Beiber”. There were flowers, and a wedding cake.
Since then, Avalanna has been referred to as “Mrs. Bieber”. There was a Facebook page created in the hopes that a meeting could be arranged between Avalanna and Justin Beiber. The two did get to meet each other, in person, on Valentine’s Day. Justin Bieber flew Avalanna and her family to Manhattan for their special “date”.
Justin and Avalanna played the Candyland board game together. They each signed their autograph on each other’s hands. Avalanna got to style Bieber’s hair in her own way. The two exchanged kisses on the cheek, (which is likely to make many teenage Bieber fans extremely jealous).
Later, Justin Bieber sent the following tweets saying: “That was one of the best things I have ever done.”, and “She was AWESOME. Feeling really inspired right now.” and “Best part of my day”. The day before Valentine’s Day, #MrsBieber trended worldwide on Twitter.
Image by John-Morgan on Flickr