Believe in Your Dreams – Marisa Met Justin Bieber


If you attended DS Action’s “Merry All, Comedy Ball” in December 2012, you are familiar with Marisa Cox’s story and DS Action’s mission to make her dream come true. It was Marisa’s dream to meet Justin Bieber and touch his hand.  Watching this video clip to learn more. –

DS Action is proud to share Marisa’s story and to be a part of turning her dream into a reality.  On Saturday, June 22nd, 2013, Marisa met Justin Bieber.  Click here to learn more about Marisa’s story, see pictures and video from this amazing journey.

Marisa’s Story

Marisa is a young girl who will soon be celebrating her 11th birthday.  She was born with Down syndrome.  At the age of 2, Marisa was diagnosed with Nephrotic syndrome, a disease which causes kidney failure.  In December 2010, she received a kidney transplant.  A few weeks later, her tests showed that the Nephrotic syndrome had returned.  Also, her new kidney is being threatened by a BK virus, an infection found in some kidney transplant recipients.  Marisa’s mom, Adele Cox, shared that these illnesses will continue to compromise her new kidney.  Standard treatment has failed to control these viruses, so Marisa’s family has chosen to provide her with the quality of life that she deserves.

Just like many young girls Marisa’s age, she loves Justin Bieber.  However, her interest is different.  During her numerous clinic visits, overnight stays and more than 35 surgeries, at Rady Children’s Hospital – San Diego, Justin Bieber seemed to offer a healing power.  She would watch his videos and listen to his music, which helped to speed up her recovery.  Marisa’s dream was to meet Justin Bieber and to touch his hand.  Her mom set out to find a way to make this happen.

A Call for Action

Sharla Hank, DS Action’s Vice President, reached out to Marisa’s mother by offering support in trying to make Marisa’s dream come true.  As a mother of a son with Down syndrome, who is in remission from leukemia, she understood the importance of Marisa’s dream.   It seemed to be impossible that there would be a way for Marisa to actually meet such a mega celebrity.  Then, Lauren Bennett, DS Action Event Coordinator and Sharla created a plan to offer an alternative solution.  They were able to acquire an autographed poster by Justin Bieber, which they would use as a live auction item at DS Action’s annual “Merry All, Comedy Ball” fundraiser.  Marisa’s parents, John and Adele Cox attended the event and shared Marisa’s story.  The video from the event, provided by Canis Lupus Productions, was then put on YouTube in the hopes it would reach Justin Bieber.  DS Action posted requests on Facebook and Twitter requesting to have him present the autographed poster to Marisa at a World Down Syndrome Day celebration, on March 21st.  The requests spread through the social media networks and were even supported by many of Justin Bieber’s fans.

March 21st was approaching, Sharla was determined to find another way to make Marisa’s dream come true.  She reached out to Jagger and Kristi from a local radio station, Magic 92.5 and asked them to help.  Sharla explained the importance of Marisa attending Justin Bieber’s concert on June 22nd in San Diego and her dream to touch his hand.  They were interested and passionate about Marisa’s story, but it seemed an impossible goal to attain.  On March 20th, Sharla received the call she had been hoping for.  Magic 92.5 was going to make Marisa’s dream come true.

On World Down Syndrome Day, Marisa and her family were surprised with the incredible news during a live interview.  Here is link to the audio and video clips:

Always, “Believe” in your dreams

Marisa met Justin Bieber on June 22nd, 2013 at his concert at the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego.  She not only touched his hand, but she kissed his cheek.  Justin Bieber posted the picture of this amazing and emotional interaction on his Twitter and Facebook pages.  The picture immediately went viral and has captured the attention of many media outlets.  Here are some links to pictures and media coverage from the Marisa’s big day:

Justin Bieber’s FaceBook post:

Justin Bieber’s Twitter post:

The Amazing Magic 92.5 Team (Jagger and Kristi Show):–Kristis-Bucket-List=1&blockID=696241&feedID=4876

Fox 5 videos:

Channel 8 videos:

Channel 10 videos:

Questions? or Media Relations – Please contact Sharla Hank at 619-315-5553 or





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