With all the nudity talk, alien life forms, and Joe Biden running for president (insert your own joke here), this is a cool story about how Special Wish works. Out of all the charities out there, I'd have to say they do the best with what they have...good stuff.
Letterman visit tops on her list
By Dale Huffman
Dayton Daily News
When she was growing up, Brandi Isenbarger of Xenia had a gap between her two front teeth, much like late-night television star David Letterman.
"My older brother Don began calling me David Letterman as a joke," Brandi said, laughing. "It kind of stuck, and I began watching the Letterman show when I was pretty young, and grew up with it."
Today, Brandi is 18 years old, a 2003 graduate of Xenia High School, a cancer survivor, and considers David Letterman her new best friend.
She returned home Tuesday from a one-week holiday in New York City where she met Letterman, star of CBS' The Late Show, sat in his chair on the television stage in the Ed Sullivan Theater and was "treated like a VIP by Mr. Letterman and his staff."
Brandi's mother, Helen Isenbarger, and her sister Nikkie went along for the trip, which was arranged by the group known as A Special Wish Foundation, at 436 Valley St. in Dayton. The organization grants wishes to children fighting serious medical situations.
"It was a little over a year ago that our world changed when Brandi discovered a lump on her throat that was soon diagnosed as Hodgkin's lymphoma," the mother said. "It was sudden and terrifying, but Brandi was brave."
The mother continued, "She fought hard and thanks to the doctors at Children's Medical Center, and all who prayed for her, she is doing well, is in remission, and is getting regular checkups. We just feel she is going to stay cancer free."
During her treatment period, the Special Wish folks heard of her fight, and asked her fill out a form indicating if she had a desire to do something special.
"I wrote that I always wanted to meet David Letterman," Brandi said. "Little did I know that it would come true one day."
While in New York City Brandi and her mother and sister were met by limousines at each venture. They saw The Lion King, and Letterman's staff also arranged for them to have tickets to the Phantom of the Opera, and dinner at the famous show business restaurant Sardi's.
They saw Tom Cruise since he was a guest on Letterman's show the night they were there, and Letterman arranged for them to get tickets to the premiere of Cruise's new movie War of the Worlds, and had a staff person accompany them to the theater.
"After the television program ended we were asked to stay in our seats in the Letterman theater," Brandi said. "Then when the audience was gone I got to go up on the stage, and sit on the Letterman set."
She said, "Paul Shaffer, the band leader was so kind, and staff members pampered us, and then David came out and he spent a good 10 minutes with us, joking, having fun." When Brandi's mom rambled on about a Yankee game they had attended, Letterman looked at Brandi and teased, "She doesn't have any idea what she is talking about, does she?"
While in the big city Brandi and her family visited the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, the site of the World Trade Center, rode on the subway, and did most of the things tourists visiting New York do. But for Brandi there was a very special added attraction. She not only had great seats for the David Letterman show, she got to meet the star himself.
"If I made out my Top 10 list of things I liked about David Letterman, there is no doubt what No. 1 would be," Brandi said.
"It happened when we were saying goodbye. He leaned over and very kindly kissed the back of my hand, and he told me he wishes me good luck in all things. That was the thing I will never forget."