By Nicole Williams
NOT much can render a teenage girl speechless … but meeting her favourite celebrity might do the trick.
Fourteen-year-old Brooke Collins met Charlie St Cloud actor, Zac Efron, thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
“Oh my God, that was all I could say,” she said.
“I didn’t talk much.”
Brooke told the Make-A-Wish Foundation in mid-2009 – when she was undergoing treatment for anaplastic astrocytoma, a form of brain tumour – that she would like to meet the High School Musical heart-throb.
She originally wished for a trip to Disneyland in Los Angeles, before changing her mind.
“I said I’d like to go to Disneyland in America but I was loving Zac Efron, so I said I would like that wish better,” she said.
She thought she may be able to save the money to visit Disneyland in years to come.
Brooke, her father Adam and stepmother Kelly, were given three days’ notice before being flown to Sydney to walk the red carpet for the Charlie St Cloud premiere on 19 September, to see the sights of Sydney and meet Brooke’s celebrity crush a few days later.
“It was pretty cool,” Brooke said.
“He was all casual and down-to-earth.”
Zac sat on the floor near Brooke and a New Zealand Make-A-Wish child and everything was “rock and roll”, Kelly said.
Brooke even got a hug from Zac – and now won’t wash the jacket she was wearing.
“She just kept saying ‘Oh my God, I’m in the same room as Zac Efron’,” Kelly said.
Brooke didn’t have the traditional wish-granting ceremony, because the trip was last minute; instead she had her official ceremony at the Make-A-Wish Golf Day at Cranbourne Golf Club last month.
Kelly said Make-A-Wish and other charities have been fantastic since Brooke’s diagnosis and the family is looking forward to a time they can give back to those who have helped.
Brooke was diagnosed with anaplastic astrocytoma in March 2009, after suffering constant headaches.
Within days, she was in surgery at the Royal Children’s Hospital to have the tumour removed. Twelve months of radiation and chemotherapy followed before surgery to remove another two tumours.
Since returning from the whirlwind trip, Brooke has been diagnosed with five additional tumours and the doctors have given her only months to live without the use of trial drugs.
But the family is hoping an all natural diet and chemical free life will give Brooke more time.
“Chemo didn’t work for her, radiation didn’t work for her, but we’re hoping this will,” Kelly said.
Brooke and the family are hoping Brooke’s wish to visit Disneyland may still become a reality.
By Nicole Williams