VIDEO: Young girl with leukaemia meets One Direction stars Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne and Niall Horan
A dream came true for a little girl with a life-threatening illness when she met the biggest boy band in the world.
Jessica Paulin was beside herself with excitement when she met pop sensation One Direction at a special event in London.
Jessica, 9, from Porthleven, has acute stem cell leukaemia and is being treated at the Royal Cornwall Hospital.
She and her parents went to London to meet the band at an event organised by the Rays of Sunshine charity which grants wishes for children with serious or life-limiting illnesses.
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Maria Paulin, Jessica’s mother, said: “We have not got a brilliant prognosis so we have to make the most of everything and get as many special times and memories as we can.
“We just want to put a smile on her face as much as we can.”
Jessica and the other children in the audience were treated to an acoustic performance of What Makes You Beautiful and Little Things before taking questions from the crowd.
Jessica went up onto the stage at the Wembley Cineworld to meet the One Direction stars and have her photograph taken.
Mrs Paulin said: “She grabbed Louis and gave him a big hug because he is her favourite.”
Jessica was carrying a One Direction teddybear that plays the band’s hit song, What Makes You Beautiful, and the boys danced along to the music.
Zayn Malik was ill on the day but the other members of the band, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne and Niall Horan all crowded around Jessica for a photograph.
Jessica said: “I’ve got One Direction bedding, a big cushion and a big One Direction poster.
“My favourite is Louis - I like the way he sings and the way he looks.”
Jessica, who has two older sisters and a younger brother, was first diagnosed with leukaemia in March 2009 when she was just four-years-old.
“Your whole world just turns upside down,” said Mrs Paulin.
Jessica has relapsed twice since the initial diagnosis. She underwent intensive chaemotherapy in April and May this year and has been in remission since June.
Jessica and her family said the care they received at the children’s cancer unit at the Royal Cornwall Hospital was superb.
“I think they are all very nice and they always make me smile,” she said.
Jessica is hoping to be back at Porthleven School in the new year.