A year ago Larissa Podermanski was living her best life. She had just gotten engaged to her boyfriend Martin, and she was getting ready to start a nonprofit to support people living with disabilities. Then, Podermanski's life was rocked by a cancer diagnosis.
Doctors told her she had stage two breast cancer. Even after a double mastectomy, cancer spread into Podermanski's liver, worsening her condition to stage four. Podermanski and her husband have struggled to pay for their mortgage and the expensive medical procedures she needs, resorting to asking for donations on a GoFundMe page.
To try and lift her spirits last week, Podermanski and her chemotherapy nurses made a special video, singing along to a special version of Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas Is You," and asking for a chance to meet the singer.
While battling cancer, Carey's music, especially her hit song "Can't Take That Away," gave Podermanski the courage and strength to keep fighting, no matter how bad things seemed.
Just days after posting her video, one of Carey's background singers, Mary Ann Tatum, saw the video and brought it to the singer's attention. On Saturday, Carey's tour manager reached out to Podermanski and her husband, inviting them to come to New York and meet the singer.
Carey arranged for a car to pick the couple up, got them a room at the Beacon Theatre, treated them to dinner, and got them tickets to her sold out show that night. The couple got to spend time back stage, and fulfill Podermanski's dream by meeting the diva.
Fatefully, this special night was December 17th, the first anniversary of the couple's proposal.
Podermanski says that meeting meant a lot to her, and that it'll be easier to draw strength from Carey's music knowing that the singer is rooting for her to get well.
"If I'm gonna live a short life," she told Connecticut's Fox 61, "I now know my last experiences have been remarkable, and literally a dream come true."