After brain surgery ordeal, Cape Breton girl to meet Panic! at the Disco

Thanks to Panic! at the Disco fans on social media, a Sydney girl recovering from brain surgery will get to see the American band and meet its lead singer next week at its show in Laval, Que.

“I’m ecstatic, like through-the-roof excited,” Alyssa Rose said Saturday.

Alyssa, 13, had a 20-hour surgery to remove a brain tumour in October. Her dad, Shawn, promised her tickets to see the band if she made it through.

Two weeks after recovering at home, he bought tickets to the show.

A week later, she learned she qualified for a wish from the Children’s Wish Foundation.

Her wish would have been to see and meet the band, but since her dad already bought the tickets and made hotel reservations, she decided to save her wish for something else.

Alyssa Rose with her mother, Lynn, and father, Shawn. (John Ratchford/Ratchford Studio)

So she wrote a letter to the band’s singer, Brendon Urie.

The letter details her health situation and her love of the band.

“I was hoping that on Jan. 12 at your concert that I could meet you or go up on stage with you,” the letter to Urie reads.

“I know it’s highly unlikely, but it would make this hard, sad journey one of the happiest times of my life.”

Her dad shared the letter on Facebook and Twitter.

On Twitter, a fan in Quebec saw it and shared it on Panic! at the Disco fan groups and fan sites, he said.

From there, fans spread the message until it reached the band. The band’s manager wrote back on Boxing Day — so now Alyssa, her mother, father and friend have VIP packages to the Laval show.

“It’s so nice to see how social media can help somebody out, for somebody that really deserves something. She’s been through a lot, Alyssa,” her father said.

He said symptoms of Alyssa’s brain tumour — vision loss and hearing problems — began about two years ago.

She had two MRI scans. The first one 18 months ago didn’t reveal anything, but the second one in October showed the tumour.

“We were sent to Halifax within an hour [after the second MRI] … so within the same day, our whole life changed — from coming to the doctor [in Cape Breton] to Halifax to the IWK,” Shawn said.

When they arrived at the IWK, Alyssa’s family found out she had a significant tumour in her brain stem.

“It was a large tumour, she had to be rushed to surgery,” he said.

Alyssa’s mother, Lynn, survived a brain tumour 16 years ago. (Submitted by Shawn Rose)

Alyssa slept for three days after the surgery and had to stay at the hospital for three weeks.

Her mother had a brain tumour in the same area about 16 years before.

Alyssa said she’s touched by all the people who have been there for her as she recovered.

“When I was in the hospital, everyone kept giving me gifts …  just to be nice. But to be honest, I felt like I didn’t deserve any of those things. I felt like I didn’t deserve them or need them,” she said.

“But I guess just seeing something like this and people being so nice to help me out made me feel like I really deserved it and deserved everything I got for being in there so long.”

As for what she’ll say when she meets the band, Alyssa said “I don’t think I’ll be able to say anything at all.”

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