Max & Ali has made eight-year-old Gracie Vandenberg’s dream come true as it was revealed this morning on ‘Max & Ali in the Morning’ that she would be attending the Taylor Swift concert live in Melbourne.
Gracie Vandenberg had a challenging first seven years of her life, unable to hear after she was a victim of the Women’s and Children’s Hospital cochlear implant debacle.
At birth, Gracie was diagnosed with mild hearing loss which quickly progressed into profound bilateral sensorineural hearing loss.
After having no luck with hearing aids, the difficult decision was made for her to undergo cochlear implant surgery. Eight weeks later things weren’t progressing as they should, and it quickly became a five-year uphill battle.
In April 2023, when Gracie was 7, a life-changing discovery was made that her cochlear devices had been programmed so she did not have the access to sound needed to learn to listen and speak.
After working with Little Allied Health and having significant programming adjustments to her cochlear devices, Gracie finally started to hear.
“The first song she ever heard at seven years of age was Taylor Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do!, and I’ll never forget her dancing her little heart out with a grin from ear to ear,” said mum Jenni.
Max & Ali were moved by Gracie’s story and soon made it their mission to get Gracie tickets to Taylor Swift’s Australian ‘Eras Tour’, tickets which are near impossible to come by.
This morning, Max and Ali welcomed Gracie and Jenni on the show and revealed that the mother-daughter duo would be travelling to Melbourne to see Taylor Swift live at the end of the week.
Jenni was brought to tears as she reflected on how difficult this journey had been for her little girl, but how excited she knew Gracie would be.
Ali Clarke was also brought to tears, reflecting on her own experiences as a mother, and as a family member of someone with intellectual disabilities.
“It was an absolute pleasure to help this little girl’s dream come true, and we wish her all the very best with her speech and listening progression,” said Ali.