Jillian Bowman, 10, of Latrobe is currently undergoing treatments for bone cancer and her mother, Deborah Bowman, recently asked her what she would like more than anything else, and she answered by saying she would like to meet the members of her favorite band and television show, "Big Time Rush."
Deborah, in turn, contacted Ari Hait, a news reporter for WTAE in Pittsburgh for help in arranging it.
Hait said he initially contacted Nickelodeon but said he got nowhere. He then learned that the band would be performing at the Clearfield County Fair and contacted fair officials for help.
He said fair officials were very helpful and immediately said they would try to make the arrangements to get her to the show and meet the band backstage.
"They were really great," Hait said of fair officials.
To keep it a secret, Jillian's family told her they were coming to Clearfield to watch a stock car race, not to meet her favorite band.
She said she got to meet, spend some time and take pictures with the group before the show.
She said she gave them all rubber bracelets that they had made that said, "Team Jillian."
In the middle of the concert, the band stopped the show and asked a very special fan of theirs to come out on stage and greet the crowd while the band members chanted "Team Jillian."
When asked by The Progress after the show if she was nervous about going out in front of such a large crowd she said "Yes, but that's OK. Carlos told me that he gets nervous sometimes too."
Carlos is one of the band members of Big Time Rush.
She said she got to meet the band again after the show as well.
"And best of all I got to give each of them a big sweaty hug," Jillian said.
And it appears she will get to meet her favorite band again. The band has offered to fly her to Los Angeles later this year after her treatments have been completed to watch the taping of their show in Paramount Studios.
"I can't wait," Jillian said.
"They are really nice guys," Clearfield Mayor James Schell said of the band. "It was really great what they did for her."
Schell, who is a longtime member of the Clearfield County Fair staff, said this isn't the first time the fair has done something like this for people facing medical issues as a way to give back to the community.
"Whenever you can give them a chance to get their minds off of something medical, it's a big help," Schell said this morning in a phone interview with The Progress.
Jillian said this was the first time she had attended the fair and said she had fun walking around, played some games and, she said, she won a few prizes.
Source: The Progress // @maryjane1789