Meet Sarah Jo Brisendine, daughter of Belinda & Michael. She was born in Plaquemine, La and is 10 years old. She is Terry McDermott’s February Fan of the Month.
Sarah Jo was diagnosed with Juvenile Scoliosis on January 13, 2009 when she was only 6 years old. Her spine was at a 64.5º angle and by April 28, 2009 it was at a 77º angle. Once it gets to an 80º angle it starts to affect the heart and lungs. Her spine was not only crooked but twisted as well and spinal surgery was the only option. She had her first spinal surgery on May 6, 2009 when she was six. She had growth rods put on her spine, which had to be lengthened through yet another spinal surgery each year as she continued to grow. She will undergo her fifth, and hopefully last, spinal surgery on February 27th at Children’s Hospital in NOLA. The existing growth rods will be removed and permanent rods put in place. Sarah Jo stays in pain a lot, but she is a very brave little girl. She always tries to have a smile on her face and she never gives up. Hopefully, the pain will go away after having this final surgery.
TMM: Tell us about the surprise of meeting Terry McDermott. Is he really tall?
Sarah Jo: I was very, very surprised and excited to meet him. I just couldn’t believe he came to visit with me. He is someone I had watched on The Voice with my mommy and I became such a huge fan of his. We voted for him every week. I miss seeing him on TV. Yes, I couldn’t believe how tall he is. He is even taller than my daddy and my daddy is tall.
TMM: The world works in mysterious ways; did you think you would meet Terry McDermott after his success on NBC’s The Voice?
Sarah Jo: No, I never dreamed that I would ever get the chance to meet him. He was so very nice. I was really nervous and shy around him though. He truly made my dream of meeting him come true. I don’t know anybody else that would take the time to do that for me.
TMM: What was the surprise Terry had for you when he came to visit with you?
Sarah Jo: He brought me his Driveblind CD and before he gave it to me, he opened it up and autographed it for me. He wrote on it: “to Sarah Jo thank you and Good luck!! Cheers Terry.” I was so excited to get it and thanked him for it. I love all the songs on it but my favorite song is ‘Leave Home.’
TMM: What are you feeling about the overwhelming support of Terry McDermott fans in his journey to success? Are you glad to be a part of it?
Sarah Jo: I think it is great how many fans he has supporting him through his music career. Everyone I know seems to love his music and he has fans of all ages, young or old. I am only 10 and my brother is only 8 and he loves to hear him sing as well. Even my maw-maw loves his music and she is 64. I am very happy to be a part of all this. I want to be a McHobbit like my mommy so she told me I could be a Jr. McHobbit for now.
TMM: If there is anything you wanted to tell Terry that you may have not told him when you met him, what would it be?
Sarah Jo: I know I told him thank you but I would like to say again how much I truly appreciate the visit from him. It made me the happiest little girl in the world. I want to thank Mr. David Erwin also for helping my mommy to get in touch with Terry so I could meet him. Terry told my mommy he might could meet us in NOLA on Sunday and when my mommy wasn’t able to get in touch with Terry that day, Mr. David got in touch with him for her. I made a thank you video for them (http://youtu.be/jCeGFbo1L5A) and it made me so happy when they both watched it. They both have made my dream come true. We had a great time in NOLA. We did lots of fun things but the greatest thing of all was getting to meet you Terry McDermott.
TMM: If there was one wish to grant. What would it be?
Sarah Jo: My wish was already granted when I got to meet Terry. But if I had another wish, it would be to have Terry sing to me my favorite song that he sings, ‘Carry On My Wayward Son.’ Terry has the greatest voice I have ever heard. I love all his music.
TMM: Thank you for taking the time to interview. We wish you the best of luck! What is the best way to keep track of you and recovery post surgery?
Sarah Jo: You are welcome and thank you for choosing me as Fan of the Month. This was fun to do. You can go to my mommy’s Twitter page (https://twitter.com/bella_blakefan) or her Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/belinda.williamsbrisendine). She will be updating on my surgery as I go through it.