Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Wishing on a Starr

I just love it when I find stories of kids getting to met one of the Beatles as a wish from the Make a Wish Foundation.    Of course I wish that such a foundation didn't have to exist, but it is very kind of Paul and Ringo to reach out to these young fans who have a terminal illness.   One such fan, Lydia Starr had the wish to meet Ringo Starr.   Lydia had brain cancer, so I can just imagine that Ringo was touched by her story and though of his own daughter's brain tumor.     It is with much sorrow that I report that Lydia passed away after her 14 1/2 year with brain cancer in May 2013.   However, I am happy to share with you her story of meeting Ringo.   I found this article in issue #110 of "Working Class Hero Beatles Club" fanzine.  It originally was from the Intelligencer Journal newspaper.

Trip brings two Starrs Together
By Paula Holzman

It took nearly two years for Lydia Starr's wish to come true -- two years she didn't think she had.  The 14 year old flew to Denver last month through the Make-A-Wish-Foundation to meet Ringo Starr, the drummer who has been her lifelong inspiration.

A Beatles fan since she can remember, Lydia (no relation to Ringo) has transformed her Columbia bedroom into a shrine to the Fab Four -- from an "Abbey Road" sign above the door to a "Sgt. Pepper" blanket draped across her bed.

"For years, I was like 'Ringo played the drums, and I want to do that.'  I also wanted to bel ike him and be famous, I kind of wanted to be a part of it all," she said.

But Lydia through her wish would remain just that when, in November 1998, she was diagnosed with a rare-germ-cell brain tumor.

Soon after beginning chemotherapy at Hershey Medical Center, Lydia met a social worker who introduced her to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, a group that grants wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses.

She decided upon her wish, but months passed and the request remained unfulfilled.  Lydia went through more grueling chemotherapy and radiation treatments, spending most of seventh grade in the hospital.

The treatments robber her of most of her sign in one eye and hearing in one ear.  At one point during the ordeal, one of her lungs collapsed.  Still no Ringo.

But Lydia hung on, and her treatments ended July 7, 1999 -- which she later discovered was Ringo's birthday.

A little more than a year later, a white stretch limo pulled up outside the Starr's house to take them to the airport and then to Denver to see Ringo and his All-Starr band in concert at Red Rocks.

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