CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO — A Cape Girardeau teen and her sister, who have lived through three years of family illness and turmoil, will have a bright moment on Monday, July 2, when they have an unexpected appointment to see the "concert of the year" with *NSYNC, compliments of Verizon Wireless.
Dani Daigger, 15, a sophomore at Central High School, and her 21-year-old sister, Amanda, got the telephone call from state Sen. Peter Kinder and Julie Metzer, a social worker at Southeast Hospital, after the opportunity from Verizon Wireless became available.
"This is a very special story of a family persevering through difficult times," said Kirk Goldbach, president of Verizon Wireless for the Kansas/Missouri Region. "We hope Dani and Amanda have a wonderful time at the concert and keep their remarkable spirit going."
"I was shocked when I heard," Dani said. "My sister called and said, "Do you want to go to St. Louis and see *NSYNC?" I was really surprised. It's very cool."
Amanda said getting to see *NSYNC in concert is "a big boost for my sister." "With everything we've been through, Dani and I are very close, and this is tremendous for her," Amanda said.
The story began when Kinder, President of the Missouri Senate, contacted Verizon Wireless after talking with Metzer, who had worked on the Daigger family's case. Verizon Wireless is a sponsor of the *NSYNC Summer Concert Tour. The event is sold-out for the July 2 date at the Trans World Dome in St. Louis.
"I was just delighted to be able to help," Kinder said. "These young people deserve some happiness, and this is a great gift for them."
Dani and Amanda's mother died May 6 after a long battle with cancer. The family has struggled since 1998, when their mother was first diagnosed with kidney cancer.
"It has been very difficult," Amanda said. "But, we've held together."
The sisters' mother had surgery for kidney cancer in May 1998, but then was diagnosed with three brain tumors. The girls' father later left the family and has not been in contact. After treatment in Houston and St. Louis, the Daiggers thought their mother was cured. However, she was diagnosed with brain cancer again in November 2000, and passed away five months later. Amanda now has full custody of her sister and works in food service in Cape Girardeau to support her sister and herself.
"These young people are examples to us all as they face their daily lives with optimism and joy," Golbach said. "We want to thank state Sen. Kinder and Ms. Metzer for bringing the Daiggers to our attention."
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless is the largest wireless communications provider in the U.S. with more than 27 million wireless voice and data customers. The coast-to-coast wireless provider was formed by the combination of the U.S. wireless businesses of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD), including Bell Atlantic Mobile, AirTouch Cellular, GTE Wireless and PrimeCo Personal Communications. Verizon Wireless has a footprint covering more than 90 percent of the U.S. population, 49 of the top 50 and 96 of the top 100 U.S. markets. The company, headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, is 40,000 employees strong. Reporters and editors can find more information about the company on the Web at http://www.verizonwireless.com.