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$50,000 given to cancer-stricken girl in Taylor Swift's name

Updated at: 07/10/2015 12:24 PM
By TERRY TANG

(AP) PHOENIX - PHOENIX (AP) — A cancer-stricken Arizona girl who got a hefty contribution posted in Taylor Swift's name has received thousands of additional dollars in donations from people wishing her a "swift" recovery.

A GoFundMe fundraising site for 11-year-old Naomi Oakes accumulated more than $73,000 on Thursday, far surpassing its initial goal of $30,000. The largest contribution was the $50,000 donation posted online a day earlier in Swift's name. Since news of that donation spread, the site has gotten more than $6,000.

The girl's family posted a video on social media earlier this week of Naomi referring to Swift's single, "Bad Blood," as her theme song as she battles leukemia. The family also said in the video that Naomi would have to miss a Swift concert because of her illness.

A spokeswoman for Swift said the singer does not confirm charitable contributions. However, Swift has a history of sending money and gifts to fans. In January, she sent a fan a check to help with her student loans.

Along with the donation, the poster left a note calling Naomi "beautiful and brave."

"I'm sorry you have to miss it, but there will always be more concerts," the message reads. "Let's focus on getting you feeling better. I'm sending the biggest hugs to you and your family."

Naomi's aunt, Andrea Percival, said that the entire family is appreciative and teary-eyed at Swift's generosity.

"I think everybody is very grateful that she would take the time to do that when all they really wanted was just for her to acknowledge Naomi," Percival said. "...this was completely unexpected."

Percival said Naomi, who loves to sing and dance, was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia at a Phoenix-area hospital last month after bruises started appearing on her thigh and stomach.

Naomi, who lives in the town of Queen Creek, was immediately hospitalized at Cardon Children's Medical Center in Mesa. She will have to remain there for the next six to nine months for chemotherapy and other treatments, Percival said. As a result, she can't attend Swift's August concert in Phoenix. Her mother had bought tickets as a Christmas gift.

But the large donation and message have gone a long way to soften that blow.

"That someone with that celebrity status would go that far is amazing," Percival said. "It's just amazing."

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Follow Terry Tang on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ttangAP

(Copyright 2015 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)