Kendall Sherry’s life may have its tough moments but on Tuesday night, one of her dreams came true.
Originally from Ottawa, the 12-year-old suffers from spina bifida – a birth defect affecting the spinal column – and moves around using a wheelchair. She now lives with her adoptive family in Kelowna, B.C.
In October, she was being taped for a feature spot on Global’s Show of Hearts Telethon, a children’s charity which had helped her family by installing a new elevator in their home. Organizers noticed she had a crush on teen pop star Justin Bieber.
Global and Entertainment Tonight Canada sent a note to Bieber’s management team to get a recorded message from the teen idol sent back to Kendall. Instead, Bieber’s team decided to invite Kendall and her mom, Susan, to fly out to Toronto to meet Bieber in person and attend the concert at the Air Canada Centre on Tuesday.
“She was in terrible shock,” said Susan, of Kendall’s reaction. “I don’t think she came out of shock until (Wednesday) morning. I think it took her all night to realize that this was real because she actually asked if she was being ‘punked.’ “
Kendall, who is naturally shy, tends to obsess over things due to a mental disability associated with her spina bifida.
“The trick was that we didn’t actually tell her (in advance),” said her father Jay. “She didn’t know. It’s just her nature, so we kept the information from the whole family.”
Susan and Jay have seven adopted children, including Kendall, five of whom are Haitian, ranging in age from 12 to 20 years old.
“One of the other girls was very jealous,” Jay said with a laugh.
“Kendall really deserves it,” added Susan. “She doesn’t ask for much. She goes about life like, ‘That’s the way my life is and I’m just going to do the best I can.’ She just has that kind of personality.
“She will always remember this. It will be a big deal for her for a long time.”