Today Show news presenter Sylvia Jeffreys recently wrote a piece for 9Honey calling out the "disgusting abuse" Delta Goodrem has been copping online. She says that "If any of these internet haters came face to face with Delta, they would melt into a pathetic little puddle of regret."
I found myself furiously nodding as I read these words.
You see, I don't know Delta, but we have crossed paths three times:
The first time I saw her in person was at a Craig David concert - I can't tell you what year it was but it must've been the early 2000s because I distinctly remember wearing my frayed Mariah-Heartbreaker-jeans, a crop top and some giant wedges.
Craig David had been singing about Monday or Tuesday or Wednesday and when he finished, he gave a shout out to Delta who was battling Hodgkin's Lymphoma. From memory, he called her a "strong soul" and a "beautiful friend" and everyone in the audience MELTED.
It was close to midnight when my sisters and I left the concert and saw this beautiful girl dressed in a white suit walking near us. We looked over and realised it was Delta - at about the same time a dozen others did too. People ran up to her, screaming excitedly, yelling her name.
We all knew at the time, that Delta was undergoing chemotherapy. It was all over the magazines. I remember thinking how angelic she looked standing under the street lights in all-white. She was waving at fans, smiling, chatting and signing autographs.
In the car on the way home, I asked my sisters (who are both doctors) how bad chemotherapy is - And I went to sleep that night thinking how someone who was going through so much still managed to be so kind, patient and sweet to her fans.
That was my first encounter.
The second time I met Delta, was at a kids hospital in Sydney.
I was volunteering in the Starlight Express Room the day she walked in. I saw her hugging sick children, their brothers and sisters, their parents. I saw her singing them songs, making funny faces and having a good time.
I saw her resting her hands on the shoulders of an 8-year-old girl, looking her in the eyes and making her feel important. I don't know what words were exchanged between them, but I do know that little girl had been crying before Delta had walked in. And I know that little girl didn't stop raving about the singer long after she had left.
That was my second encounter.
The third time I met Delta, we actually spoke to each other.
It was pouring with rain that night. And it was really, really cold. I was 3 months pregnant, hovering around the outer edges of the media pack at the Great Gatsby premiere in Sydney. Reporters were literally elbowing each other on the red carpet, as they tried to interview the star of the night, Tobey Maguire. (No Leo. Yeah, I was devastated too.)
As it turned out, Tobey walked right past us. The rain was really pounding down at this point and the poor guy probably just wanted to get himself under cover.
The media crowd began to dissipate as more and more celebrities opted to avoid the wet weather, skip the interviews and head straight into the premiere. I decided to stay and wait in case the rain eased up and someone, ANYONE, stopped for a chat. (Ok, not entirely true. Pretty sure I stuck around because Ricky Martin - aka the reason I studied Spanish at uni for 3 years - was in Sydney and I was hoping he'd be there. He wasn't. Boohoo)
But you know who WAS there and who DID walk through the pouring rain to have a chat? Delta. (See the terribly blurry photo below, taken by mega-Delta fan, my sister.)
The storm belting down around her, Delta caught my eye, crossed over onto my side of the red carpet and said "aren't you good for waiting in this weather?"
My frozen fingers quickly held up the mic and I began asking her questions. We laughed. We talked about Gatsby. We even discussed the world's important issues like what was going on with Darren McMullen's hair on The Voice.
Delta could've kept walking like so many others did that night. She didn't have to stop for a chat. I'm sure she would've preferred to be indoors with everyone else. But she did stop. In the rain. In the cold. I went home thinking how unbelievably lovely she was.
And that was my third encounter.
That's three times, Delta has been nothing but kind and caring. Three times, she has been nothing but friendly.
These are the stories that don't make it to the papers. The ones we don't seem to talk about much. So let's get talking. If you have a positive story about Delta, please share it below.