Dover Police swift to try to make teen’s dream to meet singer come true

Currently undergoing chemotherapy, Middletown resident Victoria Marsh, 13, made a poster urging “Let’s Kill the Cancer.” (Submitted/Marsh family)

Currently undergoing chemotherapy, Middletown resident Victoria Marsh, 13, made a poster urging “Let’s Kill the Cancer.” (Submitted/Marsh family)

DOVER — Victoria Marsh dressed like Taylor Swift last Halloween and dreamed of meeting her someday.

Two months later she was diagnosed with a form of bone cancer that required amputation of her lower left leg.

Victoria is not all about meeting idols, though, and has raised money through her slogan “Let’s Kill The Cancer” that started with a poster and led to more than 1,000 T-shirts sold and the formation of Team Victoria.

Dover Police Department Chief Paul Bernat learned of the 13-year-old Middletown girl’s plight through a Facebook friend, and wondered what could be done to help her.

Eventually, Dover police and Victoria’s family connected and the timing couldn’t have been better.

The Dover Police Department received tickets to Ms. Swift’s upcoming June shows in Philadelphia after a January dashcam video featuring an officer lip-syncing to her “Shake it Off” hit song went viral on YouTube, drawing worldwide attention.

Police shared some tickets with the Marsh family, with the idea of giving Victoria a dreamy concert experience at the very least.

Unfortunately, chemotherapy sessions at Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children won’t allow Victoria to attend the show. Her sisters will go in her place.

The Everett Meredith Middle School seventh-grader hasn’t given up hope of meeting Ms. Swift, however, and the Dover Police is using its video prowess to help the cause.

On Wednesday, city police released a four-minute, 24-second video designed to get the superstar vocalist’s attention and hopefully bring a personal session with Victoria during her stay in Philadelphia, which includes concerts on June 12 and 13.

With an acoustic version of Ms. Swift’s “Blank Space” playing, the YouTube video tells Victoria’s story with a series of photos and notations, designed to possibly earn a personal meeting with her musical hero or at least enjoy a FaceTime interaction.

The video relates that Victoria is one of only three people in the United States with a form of the cancer osteosarcoma and Down Syndrome. She also plays the piano and swims competitively, among other pursuits.

Middletown resident Victoria Marsh, 13, dressed as Taylor Swift last Halloween. (Submitted/Marsh Family)

Middletown resident Victoria Marsh, 13, dressed as Taylor Swift last Halloween. (Submitted/Marsh Family)

In a letter to the Dover PD giving thank for the tickets, Victoria’s mother, Karen, wrote, “(She) has always hugged harder, loved longer, smiled bigger and laughed louder, even in the most challenging of times.”
Ms. Marsh hatched the video idea with Dover Police’s Cpl. Mark Hoffman.

The hope is that a social media push will gain Ms. Swift’s acknowledgment and fulfill Victoria’s wish. Cpl. Hoffman said they don’t have Ms. Swift’s contact information to make the request directly.

For Dover Police, the video of Master Cpl. Jeff Davis’s rendition of “Shake it Off” while cruising in his patrol car through Schutte Park last January continues to pay dividends, and this is the latest example.

“Victoria’s story is just one of those (successes), and one we really wanted to tell and hopefully help make that dream of hers come true,” said Cpl. Hoffman, who spent about 90 minutes on a Macbook Pro laptop and Movie Maker program to create the video with Marsh family-provided photos.

A second dashcam video with a similar Swift- and patrol car-related light tone was produced, and the two have combined for more than 36 million YouTube views.

Originally Cpl. Hoffman thought that 20,000 to 30,000 views would be great for communicating with the community and creating goodwill, so “to hit millions each time is beyond success,” he said.

Plans for the next dashcam video are ongoing, and Cpl. Hoffman said “we are always evaluating and thinking of new and innovative ideas.”

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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