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My Star Amongst The Stars

This guest post is from Michelle DiPiazza. Michelle's daughter, Jodi has autism and performed at Comedy Central's Night of Too Many Stars. Katy Perry just announced recently that she is teaming up with Tickets for Charity to offer fans tickets to her world tour to benefit Autism Speaks! Exlcusive floor tickets are on sale now here

How does one react when you hear that your daughter will be performing with Katy Perry on national TV in front of a sold out audience at the Beacon Theatre? Pass the Xanax. Jodi was so excited to hear that she was going to perform with one of her favorite pop stars! We (my husband Tom and I) were most excited that Jodi even knew she had a "favorite" pop star.

The day of the event, we were hanging out in the hotel room at the Beacon. Tom and I were as nervous as could be. We could not imagine how Jodi and Katy Perry were going to pull this off, having only rehearsed once the night before and once the afternoon of the event at the walk through. But Jodi was as calm as could be, lounging on the couch playing video games and talking about her lady bug painted toe nails that she had painted for good luck.  Finally, after hair and makeup were done, we were escorted down to the theatre.

We could not have imagined the number of stars that we saw there. Not one of them knew who Jodi was or why she was there or that she was even performing there that night.  You see, Jodi was the "secret weapon" of the night.  No one was expecting to see and hear Jodi's story.

Then it was time for Jodi and Katy to take the stage. I gave Jodi a kiss and told her to break a leg as my own voice was breaking. I then watched her walk onto a dark stage hand in hand with Katy.  They went off while talking about pets and family.

I do not remember much of the performance. I held my husband’s hand and sobbed as I watched my beautiful daughter, who could not say a word before the age of four, who would cry and scream at any party, singing there on stage with a beautiful voice and gracefully playing the piano in front of a huge crowd with lights and cameras pointed at her from every direction. I sobbed because she was able to accomplish all of this that one night. At the end of the performance, the crowd was on their feet and most of them were also crying. The standing ovation lasted quite a while.

When Jodi walked off stage to us, the first thing she said to my husband was "I did it Daddy." Yes, Jodi most certainly did it. She then gave Jon Stewart and Robert Smigel hugs and thanked them for having her perform.  As she walked by the stars and the crew backstage, she continued to get a standing ovation. Everyone now knew who the girl with the firework bejeweled dress was. Jodi was the star amongst the stars at the Night of Too Many Stars.

Since that night, Jodi has been performing at fundraisers and raising awareness for many diverse organizations and receiving numerous awards for her advocacy of children and adults with autism and other disabilities. She continues to compose music, play piano, guitar and most importantly, be her beautiful bubbly self.

Are you a fan of Katy Perry? She just announced that she is teaming up with Tickets for Charity to offer fans tickets to her world tour to benefit Autism Speaks! Don't miss out! Exlcusive floor tickets are on sale now here.

The Autism Speaks blog features opinions from people throughout the autism community. Each blog represents the point of view of the author and does not necessarily reflect Autism Speaks' beliefs or point of view.