Xander Gyselman, 4, checks out some of his Justin Bieber loot while sitting in his chair getting ready for the recent Bieber concert in Winnipeg. The concert was part of Xander’s wish to the Westman Dreams for Kids Foundation. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
When Justin Bieber took the stage in Winnipeg last week, thousands of young girls hearts swooned, but the show might have been even more special for one Brandon boy who got to share the experience with his family.
Xander Gyselman, 4, was diagnosed with nephrotic syndrome last year. While the disorder does affect his ability to regulate the amount of protein in his body, it doesn’t affect his love for the Canadian music icon.
"The concert was so fun," Xander said, adding the best part was when Bieber took to the stage singing his favourite song, "Boyfriend."
"I always sing it, it’s my favourite," Xander said with excitement, reliving the concert at the MTS Centre on Oct. 17.
The concert was Xander’s wish to the Westman Dreams for Kids Foundation, getting a chance to see his favourite artist with his family.
"He was really excited all day. It was a long car-ride into Winnipeg (filled with anticipation) for him," said his mother Amanda Gyselman. "He’s been a Justin Bieber fan since he was two years old."
Xander’s two-year-old brother Zain also got to take in the concert and mom admits even herself and grandma, Wendy Gyselman, got in on the action.
"There was a lot of screaming girls and it was very loud — and a couple screaming little boys too," Gyselman said.
This past year, while most four-year-olds would have been more worried about what toy to bring to pre-school, extended stays in hospitals in Brandon and Winnipeg haven’t been out of the norm for Xander.
"This last year had been really rough for him," Gyselman said.
Since undergoing a new chemotherapy earlier this year, Xander has had a clean bill of health, making the concert with his family even more memorable.
"He hasn’t had any relapses at all so he’s been doing really well," Gyselman said. "It was really special for him because he’s liked Justin Bieber for a long time and it meant a lot to us too, as a family, to get to take him to see him."
Gyselman said it wouldn’t have been possible without the hard work of the organization that helps so many families in the area.
"It’s really nice to have a group like Westman that is willing to help these young kids that are sick and battling with different diseases and illnesses," Gyselman said. "A lot of families can’t give their children the type of dreams that Westman Dreams for Kids do for these young kids."
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition October 22, 2012