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A woman fighting Spinal Muscular Atrophy got the chance to meet Justin Timberlake after WOWT 6 News first did a story about her wish to meet the pop star. Justin saw the story and made the wish come true.
Jerica Berner, 24, has stumped both doctors and her family by living eight times longer than expected. She was born with Spinal Muscular Atrophy. The fighter has dreamed of meeting Justin Timberlake since she was 8 years old. Doctors do not know how long she will live.
"She’s my miracle baby,” said Jerica’s mother, Jennifer Berner. She told WOWT 6 News the disease is typically diagnosed by the time a child is 18 months, with a life expectancy of less than 3 years. Jennifer said she is shocked, "I've never seen somebody so full of her life in her personality like I said she's never been inhibited by the chair or anything."
Monday night, Jerica arrived at the CenturyLink Center to find out she was getting the surprise of a lifetime. She was given VIP access to a before show meet and greet with the tour group, upgraded tickets to the main floor seats, and several free gifts. After she got to her seat, Jerica met Timberlake, and he even sang to her.
Jerica has lived at the Ambassador Care Facility since she was 12, when living at home became too expensive. "It was really hard. I went through a little bit [of a tough time] because I felt I failed as a parent by not having her at home with me," her mom told WOWT 6 News.
Despite being confined to a wheelchair and not being able to live at home, Jerica has made the best of it. She decorates her room like nobody else at the facility and has found music – especially Justin Timberlake's – helps to take her mind off her pain.
"I just put whatever I like up. There’s the boy bands, pictures of my mom and sisters. I love boy bands. I just think it's fun and exciting,” Jerica said. As for Timberlake, she says, "I think that he is a good singer and dancer, and he's really hot too."
Jerica attended Timberlake's Omaha concert in 2007. “One of his dancers waved at me, but he didn't see it," she said. Both times she will have gone with her long time friend and nurse Kari Andrews.
"We've gotten seats to JT when he comes, but they're handicap, and she can't see well. It's her dream, actually, to meet him,” Andrews told us before they attended his concert for a second time.
Thanks to WOWT 6 News viewers who shared Jerica's picture on Facebook and tweeted Justin, her dream came true Monday.
"I loved it I just liked all the dancing and him singing - and ughh I just love him," said Jerica.