GWINNETT CO., Ga,None - A Gwinnett County teenager says her battle against cancer landed her the most important role of her life after a legendary rock star chose the teen to be the face of his charity.
Roger Daltrey of “The Who” and 16-year-old Sara Sterner are now a unique pair, helping teenagers fight cancer.
The Buford teen was 15 when she began having seizures. An MRI ultimately revealed why.
"It showed a small brain tumor in my left temporal lobe,” Sarah Sterner told Channel 2 Action News reporter Kerry Kavanaugh.
Sarah spent the next several months dealing with the seizures and prepping to have her tumor removed.
To help lift her spirits, Sarah's father bought tickets to take her to see one of her favorite rockers, Daltrey, perform. He also sent an email asking if she could meet him. It was a shock to all when Daltrey said, "Yes."
"I pretty much just smiled the whole time, didn’t really talk that much,” Sarah said.
They had an instant connection.
"He just hugged me and assured me everything would be OK, and I guess he liked my smile enough to want to meet me again,” Sarah said.
And they did, when her surgery was a success and Sarah healed.
"He got to see my scars and stuff. He was just so happy to see me after having the tumor out, see me cured,” Sarah said.
Daltrey had a special request for Sarah. He asked her to represent his charity, Teenage Cancer Trust, in the U.S.
The trust's mission is to build teen-only cancer wards in American hospitals. There are already 19 in the United Kingdom.
Daltrey didn't hesitate when Kavanaugh requested an interview via Skype to talk about Sarah and her role in his charity.
"She's a great friend and I'm extremely proud of her and her family,” Daltrey said.
Daltrey said Sarah has the fighting spirit to encourage others as he helps teenagers, who he credits for his own personal success.
"They gave me the wonderful life that I’ve had. This is a good way of giving back,” Daltrey said.
"Ninety-nine percent of the time, I'm a normal kid, but 1 percent of the time, I'm off with a rock star,” Sarah said. "I now have this power to help people and it's fantastic."
The Teen Cancer Trust is building its first teen cancer unit at UCLA medical center in Oakland, Calif. Sarah recently traveled there with Daltrey for a fundraiser.