Reach­ing out

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - PROVINCE - BY TERRY TANG THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS TELE­VI­SION

Ari­zona girl bat­tling leukemia re­ceives $50,000 do­na­tion in Tay­lor Swift’s name.

An Ari­zona girl with can­cer who got a hefty con­tri­bu­tion posted in Tay­lor Swift’s name has re­ceived thou­sands of ad­di­tional dol­lars in do­na­tions from peo­ple wish­ing her a “swift” re­cov­ery.

A GoFundMe fundrais­ing site for 11-year-old Naomi Oakes ac­cu­mu­lated more than $73,000 on Thurs­day, far sur­pass­ing its ini­tial goal of $30,000. The largest con­tri­bu­tion was the $50,000 do­na­tion posted online a day ear­lier in Swift’s name. Since news of that do­na­tion spread, the site has got­ten more than $6,000.

The girl’s fam­ily posted a video on so­cial media ear­lier this week of Naomi re­fer­ring to Swift’s sin­gle, “Bad Blood,” as her theme song as she bat­tles leukemia. The fam­ily also said in the video that Naomi would have to miss a Swift con­cert be­cause of her ill­ness.

A spokes­woman for Swift said the singer does not con­firm char­i­ta­ble con­tri­bu­tions. How­ever, Swift has a history of send­ing money and gifts to fans. In Jan­uary, she sent a fan a cheque to help with her stu­dent loans.

Along with the do­na­tion, the poster left a note call­ing Naomi “beau­ti­ful and brave.”

“I’m sorry you have to miss it, but there will al­ways be more con­certs,” the mes­sage reads. “Let’s fo­cus on get­ting you feel­ing bet­ter. I’m send­ing the big­gest hugs to you and your fam­ily.”

Naomi’s aunt, An­drea Per­ci­val, said that the en­tire fam­ily is ap­pre­cia­tive and teary-eyed at Swift’s gen­eros­ity.

“I think ev­ery­body is very grate­ful that she would take the time to do that when all they re­ally wanted was just for her to ac­knowl­edge Naomi,” Per­ci­val said. “...this was com­pletely un­ex­pected.”

Per­ci­val said Naomi, who loves to sing and dance, was di­ag­nosed with acute myeloid leukemia at a Phoenix-area hos­pi­tal last month af­ter bruises started ap­pear­ing on her thigh and stom­ach.

Naomi, who lives in the town of Queen Creek, was im­me­di­ately hos­pi­tal­ized at Car­don Chil­dren’s Med­i­cal Cen­ter in Mesa. She will have to re­main there for the next six to nine months for chemo­ther­apy and other treat­ments, Per­ci­val said. As a re­sult, she can’t at­tend Swift’s Au­gust con­cert in Phoenix. Her mother had bought tick­ets as a Christ­mas gift.

But the large do­na­tion and mes­sage have gone a long way to soften that blow.

“That some­one with that celebrity sta­tus would go that far is amaz­ing,” Per­ci­val said. “It’s just amaz­ing.”

Play­ers ex­pected to com­pete in­clude Phil Mick­el­son, Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Matt Kuchar, Jimmy Walker, Graeme McDow­ell, Colin Mont­gomerie and Miguel An­gel Jimenez. From East Loth­ian, Scot­land. (Live) (2:30)

Play­ers ex­pected to com­pete in­clude Phil Mick­el­son, Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Matt Kuchar, Jimmy Walker, Graeme McDow­ell, Colin Mont­gomerie and Miguel An­gel Jimenez. From East Loth­ian, Scot­land. (Live) (2:30)

AP PHOTO

In this May 17, 2015, file photo, singer Tay­lor Swift ar­rives at the Bill­board Mu­sic Awards in Las Ve­gas.

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