Johnny Depp met cancer survivor Katie Vandrilla in 2011 when he granted her a 'wish' via Make-A-Wish while filming Tim Burton's Dark Shadows

Johnny Depp made one cancer survivor’s dream come true in 2011 when the Make-A-Wish Foundation reached out to the long-time supporter to ask if he would grant her wish to meet him.

Now the actor has penned a heartfelt foreword to a children’s book written by that same cancer warrior.  

Katie Vandrilla, 31, is the author of children’s book Thumper’s London Adventure and a leukemia survivor who flew to London to meet her ‘hero’ Johnny Depp on the set of Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows.

And more than a decade later, Depp is continuing to offer his support by writing the foreword for Vandrilla’s latest children’s book that hits shelves July 20. He wrote the sweet note on June 17 in Paris, just weeks after his victory against ex-wife Amber Heard

‘For my dearest Katie, For her dear family and friends,’ the foreword begins. ‘And for all the dear children out there, and for all their dear family and friends, that need that little bit of extra care and understanding right now.

‘Please know that you are loved and that we are thinking of you all!

‘With all my love, my respect and my good wishes to you, always, Johnny.’

Johnny Depp met cancer survivor Katie Vandrilla in 2011 when he granted her a ‘wish’ via Make-A-Wish while filming Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows

Now the actor has penned a heartfelt foreword to a children’s book written Vandrilla

During his weeks-long defamation trial against ex-wife Amber Heard, Depp’s charitable contributions were questions. On the stand Depp said, ‘When I donate money, I donate without my name being involved because I don’t see that’s important, my name being there in terms of money’

Vandrilla is now cancer-free and a high school chemistry teacher and drama co-director in Berlin, Connecticut. 

Her life was changed when at just 16 years old she was diagnosed with leukemia. 

She told DailyMail.com, ‘Meeting Johnny meant nothing short of everything to me. 

‘He gave me an escape and something to look forward to when I needed it most. And that moment changed my life in some of the best ways imaginable.’ 

Vandrilla said she writes for fun and began writing children’s books about her stuffed bunny named Thumper during her cancer treatment. 

‘It started as a therapeutic project for myself, then turned into something bigger that I continued to work on for a few years. The story had to be fun, educational and inspiring,’ she said. 

The latest book follows Thumper who has one chance to be reunited with his family. The bunny must find Big Ben before the clock runs out, or remain lost in London forever. 

When her first book in the Thumper series was published in 2018, she donated the royalties to Make-A-Wish to help other children with life threatening illnesses make their dreams come true. 

‘My Make-A-Wish sent me to a city I had never planned to travel, London, and is now a huge part of my life,’ she said in a blog post.

‘Giving back to Make-A-Wish is also a large aspect of my everyday life. Aside from my book, I volunteer as a wish granter to help other kids facing critical illnesses get their wish.’

Vandrilla is now cancer-free and a high school chemistry teacher and drama co-director in Berlin, Connecticut 

Vandrilla said she writes for fun and began writing children’s books about her stuffed bunny named Thumper (pictured) during her cancer treatment

Vandrilla told DailyMail.com, ‘Meeting Johnny meant nothing short of everything to me’

‘He gave me an escape and something to look forward to when I needed it most. And that moment changed my life in some of the best ways imaginable,’ Vandrilla said

Johnny Depp has been known for his charity work. 

Just last week he made a significant donation to the Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation in Australia. 

The actor, 59, donated nearly $800,000 USD ($1,173,548 AUD) to various charities through the sale of NFTs (non-fungible tokens).

Depp’s NFT community called Never Fear Truth split the donations between the Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation, the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity, the Footprint Coalition and the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles.

During his weeks-long defamation trial against ex-wife Amber Heard, his charitable contributions were questions. 

On the stand Depp said, ‘When I donate money, I donate without my name being involved because I don’t see that’s important, my name being there in terms of money.’

Depp said that he preferred to work behind the scenes, including turning premieres of his movies into benefit events for charities like Great Ormond St Hospital for children in London or volunteering with Make-A-Wish.

He said: ‘I’m not looking for that pat on the back. I don’t need the adulation, I don’t need the attention.’

 Thumper’s Hospital Adventure was released in 2018.

 

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By Jon Doe