(WSVN) - Facebook to the rescue to help a handicapped teen get coveted concert tickets to see Taylor Swift. She was one of many fans who had a hard time getting tickets, but when her mother turned to social media for help, they received a show of support.
It is no doubt the hottest ticket in town, and trying to get one, led to heartache and then gratitude for a Florida family.
Valerie Chandler spends so much of her time in physical therapy.
Three years ago, when she was only 13 years old, Valerie’s spine was severed in a car accident.
The Wellington teenager has been confined to a wheelchair ever since.
Through it all, the one constant that helped her persevere has been the music of Taylor Swift.
“Through doctors’ appointments and different surgeries, that’s what I put on to block everything else out,” Valerie said.
So, like so many other fans, Valerie was online Tuesday morning trying to buy tickets to the Taylor Swift concert in Tampa.
Five hours later, it was her turn, and while there were tickets left, they were only for people not in wheelchairs. All the wheelchair accessible seats were gone.
“This was just another reminder to her that I’m in a wheelchair and because of that, I don’t have equal access to tickets in this case,” aaid Katie Chandler, Valerie’s mom. “I was thinking it wasn’t going to happen. Like, I really wasn’t thinking it was going to happen.”
But Valerie’s mom wouldn’t accept it.
She went to social media and posted a letter to Taylor Swift.
“Dear Taylor Swift, this message may never reach you but I’m going to put it out there anyways,” Katie read.
In the letter, Katie described Valerie’s situation and struggles.
“I just want to put a smile on her face and give her a good memory that she’ll never forget because there’s a lot of bad ones,” Katie said. “I want to sit beside my daughter at your concert and watch her smile.”
Almost immediately, the post went viral and was shared thousands of times.
“Strangers. I had random people from out of state, out of the country reaching and saying we’re pulling for you, we’re saying prayers for you,” Katie said.
It was one of those strangers who reached out Thursday night and offered the Chandlers tickets to the show.
“I haven’t had the time to cry yet about it,” Valeria said, “so there’s that too. It’s insane.”
“It shows the power of sharing,” Katie said. “It shows the power of people that care, that want to help.”
Meanwhile, Taylor Swift has finally responded to the Ticketmaster fiasco.
In a social media post Swift wrote, “It goes without saying that I’m extremely protective of my fans … There are a multitude of reasons why people had such a hard time trying to get tickets, and I’m trying to figure out how this situation can be improved moving forward.”
On Thursday, Ticketmaster said more than 3.5 million people pre-registered for Swift’s verified fan sale, the largest in its history. After that, their inventory simply could not keep up with the demand.
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