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W.Va. fan of teen heartthrob Justin Bieber takes to Facebook to score tickets

September 30, 2012|By MARIE GILBERT | marieg@herald-mail.com
  • Kaden Anders, 7, of Inwood, W.Va., is a huge Justin Bieber fan and has launched an Internet campaign in order to get a ticket to his sold-old concert in November in Washington, D.C.
Photo by Joe Crocetta/Staff Photographer

INWOOD, W.Va. — Kaden Anders has a crush on Justin Bieber. A big crush.

She thinks "his music is the best," loves to watch him dance and, if dreams come true, hopes to one day meet him face to face.

"If I do," the 7-year-old said, "I'll tell him I love him."

Kaden is no different than millions of young girls around the world who will blush at the mere mention of the heart-throbbing, chart-topping singer's name.

But Kaden's love of Bieber "is probably the most typical thing about her," said her mother, Sarah Anders.

Since the time she was born, the outgoing young girl who loves to laugh has faced more than her share of challenges.

Kaden came into the world 26 weeks early and suffered a grade III and IV bilateral brain bleed, her mother said. Doctors weren't sure she would live. But if she did, she might have cerebral palsy.

And that was the case.

Over the years, Kaden has had seven surgeries, five of them brain surgeries.

She didn't talk until she was 3 and walked a month before her 6th birthday — long after some had given up hope that it would ever happen.

She has spent most of her young life in a revolving door of doctors, specialists and therapists.

And through it all, she has accepted every challenge.

"Kaden's name means fighter," Sarah Anders said. "I didn't know that when we chose it, but Kaden has lived up to it."



Kaden loves Justin

Maybe that's one of the reasons family and friends are now fighting for Kaden — trying to make her dream come true of meeting Justin Bieber or, at least, seeing him perform in concert.

"Kaden has loved Justin's music since she was 5 years old," Anders noted. "Her sister would play his videos and Kaden would work to get up on her knees so she could dance and scream at each close-up. It was quite funny."

But the love affair never cooled down.

"Kaden will demand silence if she hears his music, even if it's at Walmart," her mother said with a laugh. "And the mention of Justin can provoke a smile like no other."

Kaden likes Justin Bieber "because he makes me happy, not sad."

And her favorite Bieber song is "U Smile" from his album "My World 2.0."

"But I think his song 'Believe' is about me," she said.

Anders said, "Kaden's abilities have increased. Other toys or characters have come and gone, but her love for Justin is really the only thing that has remained the same."

So when a November performance at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., was announced as part of Bieber's tour, Anders said she knew what needed to be done.

"As a family, we have had many conversations that we wanted to get Kaden to a concert," she said. "We were watching the news and they were reporting that tickets would be going on sale the next day. Kaden just assumed that Justin was coming to D.C. for her since she had been waiting for so long."

Anders said she's tried to buy seats, but the only ones that were available were too steep for Kaden to manage. And general admission seating isn't realistic, given Kaden's limited eyesight and difficulty in walking.

"I want her to be able to stand and dance without the fear of falling," Anders said. "Kaden loves Justin just like any other typical young girl and I want her to have the same experience."

While Bieber does a lot of work for the Make a Wish Foundation, Anders said, "Kaden doesn't qualify because her diagnosis doesn't shorten her life span. Thank God."

So Sarah and her husband, Bryan, have started an Internet campaign "tweeting anyone and everyone who might be able to help."

Kaden also is on Facebook, www.facebook.com/kadenbelieves, where people are encouraged to Like the page and spread the word in the hope that someone will notice who could make her dream come true - someone who has box seating or who knows the layout well enough to accommodate her needs.

There also is a link for a video of Kaden set to Bieber's song "Believe," which also is the name of the singer's upcoming tour.

"I swear the song was written for Kaden," Anders noted.

So far, she said, "we have over 700 likes on Kaden's page — people who are willing to Believe with Kaden."



Kaden's journey

Doing everything she can to make children's dreams come true is nothing new to Sarah and Bryan Anders.

They have been foster care parents since 2001.

"My last count, we've welcomed 117 children into our home over the years," she said. "We are in the midst of an adoption now, which will make the official adopted count eight. We've also taken guardianship of four who are no less adopted in our eyes. We also have three grandbabies and one on the way."

Kaden is one of the couple's adopted children.

"She's the youngest of the Anders kids," Sarah Anders said.

Anders knew as a child that she wanted to be a foster care parent.

"I can remember playing house and always adopting a child," she recalled.

She and her husband even agreed on their first date that they wanted to adopt.

Anders said the couple has no biological children because of unexplained infertility.

Kaden is the biological sister of a 10-year-old boy the Anders adopted.

"We were notified that the biological mother was expecting and we were being considered for placement. It's honestly the closest I've been to pregnant," Anders said.

Kaden was due in January 2005, but arrived Oct. 13, 2004, weighing 2 pounds, 3 ounces and 14 1/2-inches long.

"We weren't sure if she would live," Anders said. "If she did, she would have hydrocephalus, cerebral palsy and severe developmental delays. I remember not being able to process this information. We could suffer the loss of our baby. I immediately did an Internet search for a prognosis. And I had a social worker tell me, 'Sarah, you know you don't have to commit to this baby.' What she didn't realize was I already was in love with that baby. She was ours."

Anders said Kaden spent four months in the neonatal intensive care unit at West Virginia University Hospital.

"At the time, we had 10 kids at home. I stayed with Kaden or drove back and forth for four long months," she explained.

Kaden's adoption was finalized in February 2006.

Anders said Kaden currently is in the second grade and is a child "full of wit who loves to be in the know and is the keeper of everyone's business. You might assume that she isn't paying attention to what is going on in the room, but, honestly, she is absorbing every detail."

She doesn't like to be helped and accepts every challenge that's put before her, her mother said, "which does sometimes get her in trouble."

Anders calls Kaden "a miracle. And if that's what we need to make her dream of meeting Justin Bieber come true, then OK. I know what miracles look like. I have one. So, really, my miracle is asking for a miracle."

Kaden and her family are currently waiting to hear if the young girl's dream will come true.

And if it does, Kaden said, "Justin is going to sing to me. I'm going to dance and maybe scream a lot."

"She would love to meet Justin," Anders noted. "And I would love to see her reaction to meeting him. If it's anything like her reactions to his songs, it would be priceless."

Meanwhile, Anders is encouraging everyone to visit and share Kaden's Facebook page.

"There is power in numbers," she said. "Kaden still believes and so do we."



Want to watch?

Watch 7-year-old Kaden Anders' plea to meet Justin Bieber. Go to www.youtube.com/watch?v=lCE3V0jW758.

For more information about her campaign, go to www.facebook.com/kadenbelieves

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