Granite Shoals girl fighting cancer meets singer Selena Gomez
AUSTIN — Like so many children her age, 7-year-old Alyssa Flores of Granite Shoals is a big fan of Grand Prairie-born singer and and former Disney actress Selena Gomez.
Flores was in Austin when she saw an electronic poster featuring the performer at the Frank Erwin Center and asked her mother, Crystal, if she could attend the concert.
“I didn’t read it because of traffic,” Crystal said.
Alyssa is fighting acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a cancer in which the bone marrow makes too many lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell. The youngster had been recommended to Make-A-Wish and asked the group to help her swim with dolphins. But that changed in early May when she saw Gomez’s photo.
“She has to have her CD constantly playing,” said Alvaro Flores, Alyssa’s father.
Make-A-Wish was able to grant Alyssa’s request to see Gomez on the Austin date of her tour thanks to Friends for Wishes, a group of Texas residents who sponsored the trip that included Alyssa and her parents staying in a hotel, riding in a limo, and other activities for the concert. Make-A-Wish found out about Alyssa 10 months earlier.
It took four days from the time Alyssa saw Gomez’s poster for Make-A-Wish to confirm the family was going to the concert.
So throughout the rest of the school year, Alyssa asked her mother each day if it was time for them to go to Austin for the show.
“The closer it got,” Crystal said, “the more excited she was getting.”
Alyssa’s eyes widened as she talked about the hotel.
“It was a big hotel,” she said as she lifted her arm high above her head to illustrate its height.
After they checked in, they had a positive sign the experience would be one to remember because of what they found showing on the Disney Channel: “Princess Protection Plan” starring Gomez.
Once they were ready for the concert, they headed to the hotel lobby for the limo.
Again, the little girl’s eyes widened when she saw her ride to the Frank Erwin Center.
“She was like, ‘Is this for me?!’” her mother recalled.
When they pulled up, they were escorted to the front of a fan line to head to Gomez’s green room.
When Alyssa finally got to meet her hero and tell the Texan why she admired her so much, the Granite Shoals native didn’t say a whole lot. But she did present Gomez with a bracelet and necklace made out of the candy.
“I was shy,” Alyssa said. “She’s nice and pretty.”
And while fans came in quickly and took photos with the star and then left just as quickly, the Flores family stayed for a good while.
“(Gomez) made time,” Crystal said. “Alyssa was able to see her and talk to her and let Alyssa meet her.”
They sat directly behind “The Pit,” the area where concertgoers stand close to the stage and usually dance. Opening for Gomez was actor and singer Joe Jonas.
“I like him a lot. He was fast,” Alyssa said referring to Jonas’ ability to cover the stage from one end to the other in no time.
The youngster said she’ll forever remember her night with Gomez. The event even made Alyssa’s parents a fan of the performer.
“I really appreciate it,” Crystal said. “That was one thing she wanted to do.”
“I want to give a special thank you to everyone involved in Make-A-Wish,” Alvaro said.
Visit cstx.wish.org/ways-to-help/giving to help make wishes like Alyssa’s come true.
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