By AUTUMN JOHNSON
New lungs. Meet pop superstar Taylor Swift.
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Those were the only two things East Bay resident Tiffany Rich, 26, had on her bucket list. Thanks to a social media campaign using the hashtag #Lungs4Tiff, Rich, who suffers from cystic fibrosis, finally crossed one of them off the list when she met the woman whose music and lyrics have helped her through some of her darkest times as she battles her pervasive and unyielding disease.
The big #Swiftie, as Taylor Swift fans call themselves, had tickets to attend the pop star’s concert at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara on Aug. 15. On July 30, Rich posted the photo of her with a message to Swift and tweeted, “Dear @taylorswift13 #CysticFibrosis #Swifties #bucketlist #1989tourSantaClara #doublelungtransplant #lungs4tiff.” Soon after she posted the photo, Rich recorded a message for Swift and shared it with Patch. Swift is known for responding to her fans via social media.
Rich says she heard from Swift’s representatives about a week after she launched her #Lungs4Tiff campaign.
“They said ‘Taylor saw your post’ and I was in shock,” Rich said. “I couldn’t believe it. Then they explained to me that they wanted to ‘make this happen’ and that Taylor wanted to meet me. It was so surreal and when I got off the phone, I cried tears of joy. My dream was going to come true because of all the love and support of people retweeting, reposting, and sharing my photo.”
Once she was at the concert on Saturday, Rich was stunned when she discovered Swift had given her second row seats and arranged for a meet and greet following the concert.
“I had no words, this was the best day ever,” Rich said. “So when I met Taylor it was for a few minutes, but that was all the time I needed. I had butterflies in my stomach before I went in there. When I saw her I gave her a big hug and talked to her about my post. Apparently multiple people had been sending her my post.”
Rich said Swift acknowledged that Rich was strong and courageous.
“I thanked her for being my inspiration to get through everything,” Rich said. “Taylor is such a sweet and nice woman. It was such a magical night that I will never forget! Plus, the concert was so amazing. Best concert I have ever been to!”
Swift has not yet been reached for comment.
Watch Rich’s touching video message to Taylor Swift posted as part of her online campaign.
More Taylor Swift coverage on Patch:
Photo #1 caption: Tiffany Rich and Kelsey Sleek meet Taylor Swift in Santa Clara on Aug. 15, 2015. Photo via Tiffany Rich.
Photo #2 of Tiffany Rich’s #Lungs4Tiff online campaign. Photo courtesy Tiffany Rich via Twitter.
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