My niece, Lemika Early, had one idol in her life, Janet Jackson. She had Janet posters on her walls, all of Janet’s records and even a Janet scrapbook with pictures. She loved and admired her completely. In 1995, Lemika and two of her friends were in a terrible car accident, from the age of fourteen on Lemika was confined to a wheelchair and paralyzed from the waist down.
At the hospital she learned about the Make-A-Wish Foundation and she got the opportunity to make her wish, meeting Janet Jackson.” The Foundation arranged everything, Lemika was going to spend four nights and five days in Los Angeles (Disneyland), the family went out and spent a lot of money on clothes and other items for the trip and then at the last minute, they called and said Janet wanted to change the plans, saying that the meeting was going to take place in New York instead.
“My niece was disappointed because her heart was set on going to California. The rep said something about Janet having a favorite candy store in New York that she wanted to visit. It was quickly turning into a big mess.”
Alexander adds, “Working with Tupac, I understand a celebrity’s busy schedule but if you’re not game to do something, don’t say you’re going to do it. Simple as that.”
“To make matters worse, Janet had cut the length of her visit down to 15 minutes.” Lemika was disappointed, she decided to cancel the visit.”
“When I went to work the next day, I told Pac the story. He said, “I hate that shit,” What can I do?”
Later that night, Tupac called my niece. As soon as Tupac hung up the phone, he asked me what size clothes she wore. I told him I did not know and he told me to call Yaasmyn at his office to give her my sister’s phone number and have them send Lemika anything and everything that she wants.
Mind you, he’d never met her, it was the first time they had spoken, and he was doing this out of the kindness of his heart.
My family flew into California; Tupac invited them to the “Gridlock’d” set. He told them to take all the photos they wanted and he gave Lemika a blanket that belonged to him.
There was a whole crew of people, The kids each had a friend along, Beverly and her husband brought a friend, but Tupac was so cool! Absolutely not tired of it, and even invited them to his house for a barbecue and when he found out that my brother William plays basketball, ordered the entire basketball court to the set. They took millions of pictures.
The next day, he invited my sister and niece to the recording studio. At the studio they met Snoop Dogg, Kurupt and Danny Boy.
“When it was time to leave, Tupac hugged everyone tightly and even gave Lemika his driver’s license as a souvenir.” He then told her that when he returned from Italy he was going to donate a stereo system to her school and he was going to bring her something special back and he told her to hang in there and be strong. He even said he was going to put her in his next video. I believe that he meant it. “
“We were not guaranteed a half-hour with Janet Jackson and Tupac spent two days with us, that we’ll never forget,” says Beverly
“Till this day, Lemika gets so mad when she hears something negative about Pac. Television and the media showed only bad things,” she says. “That was not the Tupac I met. I got to know him as a person and he was a beautiful person.”
Now, she has one final wish: “I wish I could talk to him in heaven right now, I would tell him that I love him and I want to thank him for all the kindness you showed me and my family.”
After they left to go back to Chicago, I realized if everyone on this planet had a chance to spend a few days with Tupac and see that side of him, the public perception would have radically changed. Tupac was complicated, but he was essentially a good person.
Now it’s too late.
Source: “I Got Your Back,” by Frank Alexander & Heidi Siegmund Cuda