January 22, 2011

Making another fan's dream come true...

Thanks to Sue for letting me know about this, and Hath for posting the details!

What a sweet story - I hope Jon does something big for this guy. I love these stories.

Oh, and I LOVE the last line of this article, by the way:

Susan Mitton knows so much about Bon Jovi, she feels like the rock band is a member of her family. The group’s music has been the soundtrack of her son’s life.
Justin Mitton, who was born with the genetic disorder Down syndrome, took a shine to Bon Jovi when its first album debuted in the early 1980s. The 39-year-old, who never let his hair grow wildly long like his idols, has played their music every day since.
Every day? Even now?
“Yeah,” he said with little hesitation.
He listens to music on his iPod now. But sometimes he can’t help singing out loud, and he finds meaning in the lyrics — all of which he knows by heart.

It’s my life
It’s now or never
I ain’t gonna live forever
I just wanna live while I’m alive.

Mitton, whose family calls him “Bergie,” spoke seriously and with sincerity about his favorite band on a recent night at his sister’s house in Boise. Then someone turned the music on.
His face lit up, and he smiled broadly. Pure joy.
“Every time I hear that song, I just melt,” he said when the guitar strains of “Wanted Dead or Alive” whispered, then wailed, from the living room stereo.
With some encouragement, he showed off his mean air guitar.
“Right now I’m doing Richie (Sambora),” he told an audience of adoring family members as he strummed purposefully.
“I’m trying to get a band together,” he says matter-of-factly.
Mitton will turn 40 in February, and his family is hoping to make one of his greatest wishes come true: to meet Jon Bon Jovi.
They have purchased tickets to a show in Salt Lake City in March, and they’re hoping they can get a backstage pass for Justin.
This effort is hush-hush around the house — they want to surprise him — but they’ve turned to the public for help in making the dream come true.
On Dec. 26, Mitton’s sister, Sara Mitton Cox, 32, created a Facebook page called “Help Justin Meet Bon Jovi” in the hopes of finding someone associated with the band, or the show. The page has 256 fans or “likes,” and it has generated a few leads, some people who know people.
But nothing has panned out yet.

Justin Mitton grew up in the farm country near Castleford, southwest of Twin Falls. As a boy, he would sometimes grab a microphone, get his little sister and head out to the front porch to orchestrate his own tribute concert to Bon Jovi.
“I can’t imagine a day going by without it,” Susan Mitton said of her son’s favorite music.
She thinks her son’s passion for music comes from his dad, Terry Mitton, a big fan of ’80s rock music. Her son enjoys the music of other bands, including Aerosmith, Loverboy, The Cars, Breaking Benjamin and Nickelback. He’s no fan of rap music, and there are a limited number of country singers he likes, including Keith Urban, Toby Keith and Shania Twain.
Mitton said her son’s passion for Bon Jovi helped improve his reading skills when he was young. He voraciously read Metal Edge and other magazines, keeping stacks next to his bed. They were always in order, a family member noted.
He doesn’t fixate on a song, his sister said. He enjoys listening to albums all the way through.
Mitton’s mom gets emotional when she talks about the eldest of her three children — the one who doctors said would never walk or talk. They said he probably wouldn’t live past 12.
Soon after he was born, doctors said they would help her find an institution where they could send him, if that’s what they wanted.
“I was totally shocked and blown away. There was no way anybody was taking him away,” said Susan Mitton, who dropped out of high school to marry her son’s father and care for her baby. “He was such a beautiful little baby. I couldn’t imagine life without him.”
Mitton was in special education at school, and he earned his diploma when he was about 20. He was teased at times, but the small community he grew up in embraced and protected him.
Cox said people who don’t know him are sometimes wary.
“People are afraid to talk to him,” she said.
Mitton recognized as a teenager that he wasn’t able to drive and do the same things his sister and brother, Joshua, could do. That led to questions.
“One day in high school, he said, ‘Mom, can I ask you something?’” Susan Mitton recalled. “He said, ‘Mom, are you sorry that I have Down syndrome? Were you ever sad?’”
She said she told him, “I’ve never been sad that I have you.”

Mitton’s parents were together for 27 years, but they are now divorced. He now divides his time between his mom’s house in Buhl and his dad’s house in Twin Falls. “We take my dog for walks, watch movies and play games,” Susan Mitton said.
He calls his sister, who lives in Boise, a couple of times a week. She says he can be the voice of reason when her life gets overly busy or stressed, as before her wedding in August.
“He said, ‘You should sit back and be happy that it’s happening. Be happy about your wedding,’” Cox recalled.
“Sometimes he says things that are so wise,” she said. “He can see beyond the petty and judgmental things. He’s always looking at things in a positive light and loving way.”
Mitton has had a job at the Smith’s grocery store in Twin Falls for 10 years. He works two days a week as a courtesy clerk, bagging groceries and helping customers.
“He’s professional but very personable,” said Jim Faulkner, who manages the store and hired Mitton. “Mostly he and I talk a lot about football — he loves Boise State, and so do I.”
Mitton has dated and has had a girlfriend. When asked recently what he wanted for his birthday, he said, “A single woman would be fine.”
His family has been planning his birthday celebration for a year, including a huge surprise party at Mimi’s Event Center in Buhl. They’re expecting a large crowd, including former teachers, classmates and church friends.
“My mom and I have been wanting this to happen for so long,” Cox said. She and her husband are going to take Mitton to the Bon Jovi concert in Salt Lake; his mom said she might tag along.
It will be the third time he’s seen his favorite band in concert. The first time was in Boise in the late 1980s, when he was a teenager; he saw them in Salt Lake City in 2003.
Recently, Mitton told his mother: “I just want to tell Bon Jovi I love him. But Mom, that sounds kind of weird.”

Read more: http://www.idahostatesman.com/2011/01/19/1493581/family-cooks-up-rockin-birthday.html#ixzz1BoWNLcex

Here's the most recent follow-up:

The family of Justin Mitton is over the moon.
Mitton's sister and mother had hoped to surprise the 39-year-old man with a backstage meeting with singer Jon Bon Jovi when the band comes to Salt Lake City in March. They started a Facebook campaign in December, and let the Idaho Statesman tell their story in an article that was published Wednesday.
Justin Mitton, who was born with Down syndrome, has been a lifelong fan of Bon Jovi, listening to the band's music every day. He's only dreamed of meeting his idol, and it appears that may come true.
Sara Mitton Cox, a 32-year-old Boise woman, said she received an e-mail on Facebook from Jon Bon Jovi's brother, Matt Bongiovi. She passed along her cellphone number, and he called her at about 9 a.m. Friday, she said.
Cox said Bongiovi told her that he heard about Justin through three different people, including a music promoter friend.
"He said, 'I talked to Jon about it this morning,'" she said. "He said he wants to make something happen."
She was asked to show up with Justin 90 minutes before the show. Cox said she hoped that her parents and brother would be able to see Justin meet Bon Jovi, but the number of people allowed to go backstage might be limited to just a few.
The Boise area business man who helped make this happen didn't want to be named. He said he was just glad to be able to help.
Justin's mother, Susan Mitton, was in tears Friday.
"I'm just hysterical. I can't believe it," she said. "My sister said, 'This is like winning the lottery. I said, 'This is much more exciting than winning the lottery. It's Jon Bon Jovi."
Susan Mitton said she wasn't sure how she'd keep the news from her son, who divides his time between her house in Buhl and his dad's house in Twin Falls. He works at the Smith's in Twin, but was off work this week.
Justin Mitton turns 40 in February, and his family has planned a community celebration. As part of a later birthday surprise, the family bought tickets to Bon Jovi in Salt Lake City March 22.

Read more: http://www.idahostatesman.com/2011/01/21/1497239/birthday-surprise-may-be-granted.html#ixzz1BoXlrXLQ


Karen said...

OMG.. I am here just CRYING!!!! How cool is this!

Dan.Eliot said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Nicole said...

Thanx to Matt for contacting Sara about Justin, he is just stunned that he is finally going to meet his idol. We love Justin so much and we love all the support we have gotten from all over the world.

Becky said...

Thanks for stopping by, Nicole! Please pass on our regards to Justin and let him know his fellow fans are rooting for him! :)