When a seriously ill child meets their celebrity hero, it's a very powerful experience. It often leaves them lost for words, amazed by how the person they usually see through a screen to escape from a world of hospital appointments, is standing right in front of them and talking to them!
Tiegan was 1 of 8 children who got to meet their hero, DanTDM, on a very special day...
7 year old Tiegan lives with her mum Hannah and Hannah’s partner Shaun in the West Midlands.
She was referred to specialists when she was a year old, because she wasn’t meeting her milestones like crawling and sitting up by herself, and was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy.
Describing Tiegan’s condition, Hannah said: “We had to learn a new language after she was diagnosed. It wasn’t the plan but it is what it is and touch wood she’s still here and happy.”
Despite her condition, Tiegan is a happy, fun-loving girl with lots of friends. She also absolutely loves gaming because it’s something she can do without tiring herself out too much, and is a big fan of gaming YouTuber DanTDM, who is listed among the top YouTube channels in the UK.
Hannah said “Once she’d started, she then began looking at videos on YouTube and came across Dan the Diamond Minecart. She likes his videos because they make her life and she can learn tips from him and stuff which help her gaming and that keeps her happy.”
A special day
So when Hannah found out about Make-A-Wish at an exhibition, she had an inkling that Tiegan’s One True Wish would be something to do with video games.
Hannah said: “I emailed the charity because I didn’t know how it all works and I wanted her to do something that we couldn’t organise ourselves. Some Make-A-Wish volunteers came to visit and I suggested to Tiegan what I had in mind for her wish and sure enough - it was the same thing!”
“She said straight away "I want to meet Dan The Diamond Minecart.”
So Make-A-Wish got to work. Once the date of the wish was confirmed, Hannah told Tiegan straight away. She said, “She got very excited and as the date got nearer she just had a permanent smile on her face!”
Our Wishgranting team arranged for Tiegan and her mum to spend the day at Woburn Safari Park and spend the night at a nearby hotel.
The following morning, they were driven to Northampton where a room was set up for a very special day – Tiegan and 7 other wish children got to meet Dan personally and play games with him!
Hannah said: “Tiegan was telling all the hotel staff where she was going and what she was doing for her wish. Although some of them had never heard of Dan, they all joined in her excitement. She was like a bottle of pop!”
“When we got there she got the chance to play a game with Dan which we didn’t know about until the day itself, which was quite awesome! She was one of the first children to go up as well and was just in her element.”
A day she’ll never forget
The wish has given Tiegan long-lasting memories that she will treasure forever. Hannah said, “She’ll remember her wish for a long time. She went to school the following day and told all of her peers what had happened and they all went online to watch the video he’d made.”
“It’s now had 1.7 million views all over the world so all those people have seen my little girl - she’s famous! She’ll never forget it. He signed her t-shirt and hoodie so she’s also got those to keep."
Hannah summed up the day by adding: “It was indescribable to see her that happy. We got so much out of seeing her so excited. Everything was heightened. It was just wonderful. We’re still talking about it now.”