Pop superstar Justin Bieber will meet one of his biggest fans in January as one San Ramon teen fulfills a long-time wish.
After being on the Make-A-Wish Foundation waiting list for two years, 17-year-old Shelbi Zeien will meet Bieber at his Denver, Colo. concert in an all expenses paid trip. Shelbi has suffered a particularly difficult battle wit Crohn's disease -- an autoimmune disease that has prevented her body from thriving and stunted her growth -- and chose to meet the teen crooner because she has followed his career for four years and admires how hard he has worked and how well he treats his fans.
On Friday, Dec. 14, Macy's in Walnut Creek gave Shelbi the red carpet treatment as part of the store's National Believe Day campaign. The Venture School student arrived at the store in a limousine with her parents and best friend, and was given a makeover, personal shopper to help find an outfit for the concert, as well as a variety of Bieber-related gifts.
The public was invited to participate in the send-off party and participate in Shelbi's wish by bringing their letters for Santa to mail in the official R.H. Macy Santa Mail letterbox. For each letter received throughout the season, Macy's will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish up to $1 million; on National Believe Day the store donated $2 per letter, up to a maximum of $500,000. A group of students from Fremont's Azeveda Elementary School joined the celebration and delivered over 39,000 letters to Santa -- providing $78,000 in donations that will allow for more than 10 wishes.
Shelbi was diagnosed with Crohn's at age 11 and is currently in remission. Because the disease attacks the gastrointestinal system and makes it nearly impossible to eat, the teen survived through tube feeding. Shelbi has been hospitalized several times, lost a severe amount of weight and had a section of her intestines removed.
"You grow from it," Shelbi told reporters. "I think I'm a stronger person. I don't think I would be who I am if I didn't have it."
Shelbi and her family will leave for Denver and Justin Bieber's concert on Jan. 8