All this terminally ill meisie wanted for her birthday was to meet her idol, Paxton Fielies.
And on Wednesday, 12-year-old Zoe Okkers got her wish when the singer surprised her with a cake and gifts in Mitchells Plain.
Zoe’s family called the Daily Voice last week to share her story and ask for assistance in meeting the 2017 Idols SA winner.
Zoe was adopted as a sickly baby when she was only four months old.
Her parents, Gaynor and Niel Hendricks, are related to Zoe’s biological mother who was 17 and a drug addict at the time.
The family has asked that the nature of her illness be kept private.
Unfortunately this year, the family is not by the financial means to give Zoe a party, but decided to try and make her wish to meet Paxton come true.
Zoe’s birthday is on 20 March, but because Paxton would be out of town then, the singer and her manager decided to surprise the girl on Wednesday.
Paxton says when she read Zoe’s story in the Daily Voice, she was touched.
“I read the story and instantly fell in love with her,” says Paxton.
“I couldn’t wait to meet her and said I’ll do it before my trip to Sweden.”
Paxton and Zoe’s sister arranged a surprise party at Panarotti’s in Promenade Mall, which also happens to be Zoe’s favourite restaurant.
“Because she lives in Mitchells Plain, I thought it would be easier to go to her,” says Paxton, who lives in Bishop Lavis.
Zoe, her parents and sister were seated at the restaurant and about to have a late lunch when Paxton strolled in with gifts and colourful balloons.
Zoe was shocked and surprised and could only manage to squeak: “Hello, Paxton.”
But she quickly got over her shock and hugged the Idol, and the two then launched into a long conversation, accompanied by lots of giggles as they opened the gifts for the next two hours.
“Are we friends now?” Zoe asked Paxton before she left.
She added: “I can’t thank the Daily Voice enough for making my dream come true. This was the best day of my life!”
Paxton said she enjoyed spending time with her young fan: “This was a very emotional time spent, getting to know Zoe. We really need to count our blessings and live our lives to the fullest. Thank you, Daily Voice, for telling her story.”