Dunmore, Lackawanna County -- He's the heartthrob singer with the British boy band One Direction. Harry Styles is the celebrity crush of many teens -- including 18-year-old Kelcey Hallinan of Dunmore. The recent Dunmore High School grad found a fellow "One Direction" fan in a high school friend. "We kind of became fans around the same time so we just started talking about them and like listening to their music together," said Kelcey's friend Corinne Lawrence.
Sadly, Kelcey was diagnosed in 2011 with Hodgkin's Lymphoma and has been struggling mightily lately with the disease. Her friends who are current Dunmore High School seniors got a troubling call on Friday. "She wasn't doing too well and like it would be best to come down and see her," said Kelcey's friend Lenny Benfante. Fellow friend Sarah Jeffers added, "She's an awesome person. She's the bravest girl I know and we all love her so much."
Four of Kelcey's closest friends gathered at her bedside Friday at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. They decided to try and cheer her up by getting Harry Styles to send her a message, or tweet, on the social media site Twitter. They used the hashtag "HarryTweetKelcey" and hoped for the best. It wasn't the first time Kelcey's friends tried to get the One Direction star to tweet Kelcey. They also attempted it in December for Kelcey's 18th birthday but they never heard from Harry. But this time was different thanks to a tweeting and re-tweeting frenzy in the Twitterverse. "It was really amazing because I would get a notification every minute. I would get a bunch of them. You would see people re-tweeting and favoriting," said Ms. Jeffers.
Among the re-tweeters, celebrities like journalist Katie Couric and singer Jason Mraz and even the LiveStrong Foundation. Eventually, the tweet caught Harry Styles' attention who tweeted Kelcey on Sunday with the message "Hi. It's nice to meet you. I'm thinking about you and sending you all my love." "Oh we all freaked out," said Kelcey friend Abby O'Neill who along with Kelcey's other friends saw how the celebrity tweet perked up the ailing teen. "She was definitely in way higher spirits on Sunday," said Ms. O'Neill while Ms. Jeffers added, "It definitely made her, like, more excited and more happy."
The tweet is gaining Styles a new following including Mr. Benfante who said he wasn't a One Direction fan beforehand but since the tweet he replied, "Definitely, yes." It's an on-line message that Ms. Lawrence said could serve as a new song title: "Best Tweet Ever".
Kelcey tweeted Harry Styles a reply that read "I love you. Thank you for mentioning me." As if the Harry Styles tweet wasn't enough, the pop singer phoned Kelcey Monday afternoon at her hospital room in Philadelphia. Make-A-Wish Foundation wanted to grant Kelcey's wish to meet Styles but the teen has been too ill to make such a visit.