Fave - November 1971
Bobby Talks About: The Girl Who Could Be You!
I have written many stories for Fave over the past few years, and I've loved doing each and every one of them. But the story I am going to tell you now is the most important one of all - to me, to you, and to everybody in the whole world! It's about a real girl, and she could be you.
Her name is Vicki Burkett. I met her only once, more than a year ago, but I will never forget her. If Vicki's plans had gone according to schedule, she would have been in the audience of the concert I gave in Memphis in August 1970. She had bought her ticket and was looking forward to seeing the show with her friends.
But Vicki was unable to be there. Just two days before my appearance, she got the test results on a growth on her upper right thigh. Her doctor sadly informed her that it was malignant, and her right leg would have to be amputated immediately!
A VERY BRAVE GIRL! - Vicki's courage in the face of the ordeal was magnificent. She faced the news bravely, and began packing to go into the hospital. Among the things she brought were posters of me, and soon they were on the wall beside her hospital bed.
The only time Vicki's smile faltered was when her friends came by to visit and started to talk about going to my concert the following day. Seeing the look of sadness on her face started them thinking. Maybe they'd be able to get in touch with me somehow and get me to come by and see Vicki.
I was in my hotel when Vicki's school principal and the mayor called me. When they told me her story, my first impulse was to rush over to see her right away. But they told me that her operation was taking place that day, so I promised to come by the next morning on my way to the airport.
All the way to the hospital I had a heavy feeling in my heart. What a sad thing to happen to anyone, especially a 15 year old girl! I knew I couldn't let my depression show, though, and I resolved to be as cheerful as I could! She would be unhappy enough without my adding to it!
When I stepped into Vicki's room I moved softly over to her. She was lying quietly in the bed, eyes closed, with her short blonde curls framing her pale face. She looked so pretty - so fragile - I had to lean over and kiss her gently on her cheek.
Her eyes flew open, "Bobby! You really did come! I don't believe it!" Her smile could have lit up the whole sky. I know it went into every corner of my heart!
This girl wasn't wasting one minute feeling sorry for herself! In a flash she was asking me a hundred questions, and soon we were talking and laughing as if we'd known each other forever! When my manager came in and told me I'd have to rush to catch my plane, even with the motorcycle escort the mayor had provided, I hated to let go of Vicki's hand. Finally I kissed her again, and made her promise to be at my next concert in Memphis.
The last image I have of Vicki is her bright smile and her words, "I can never thank you enough, Bobby!"
But I am the one who is grateful. On that day, I felt very small beside the spirit and courage of this girl, and I knew that I was the fortunate one to have her for a fan!
WE CAN HELP! - What happened to Vicki happens every day to people everywhere, including the fans who watch me on TV and buy my records. I began to think that I had a deeper responsibility to all of you than just being the best actor and singer that I could.
This germ of an idea has grown into a campaign that is called "The Bobby Sherman Cancer Fund of Concern Foundation." I am very deeply committed to this, and you can read more about it on page 15. I think you will agree with me, and Vicki, that there is a lot that can be done in the fight against cancer, and we are the ones who can do it.