Flor Maria Soris has been a fan of Daddy Yankee ever since she can remember. The 90-year-old fan hailing from the Dominican Republic never thought — but hoped — she would get the chance to meet him. And thanks to her granddaughter, Ivanna Mendoza, her dream came true.
“When I met him, I honestly felt like I had God in front of me,” Flor Maria, whose family calls her Mami Flor, told TODAY over the phone in Spanish. “Because I had wanted to meet him since the first day that he stepped out on the scene. I said, ‘One day I’ll meet him… one day I’ll know him.’ I told myself that.”
“I said, ‘I don’t want to die without meeting Daddy Yankee,’” Mami Flor, who is battling uterine cancer, said. “‘Es un amor esa persona.’ If I have to die, I’ll die happy and satisfied because I met him.”
Days after attending Daddy Yankee's Sept. 20 concert at Madison Square Garden in New York, Mendoza made a TikTok recapping her grandmother meeting the artist backstage.
"This is my grandma, Mami Flor. Mami Flor is 90 years old, she’s been battling uterine cancer for almost a year now and her biggest dream was meeting Daddy Yankee. She’s loved him for years and his music has been her biggest support during her treatments," Mendoza detailed in her Instagram caption, before thanking Daddy Yankee and his team for making her grandma's dream come true. She would later go on and post an extended version of the night in a YouTube video.
“Her biggest dream was meeting Daddy Yankee,” Mendoza told TODAY over the phone. “She’s loved him since the beginning. Basically, she always tells everyone that goes to her house, she tells them that he’s her boyfriend. And she had this picture of him on a frame like he was one of her sons.”
Amid Mami Flor’s health issues, Mendoza's sister, Antita Baquero, was the one who had the idea of taking their grandmother to the concert. The family gathered their money to buy tickets for the show and “make this happen for her since he’s retiring … and (it was) a chance (for her) to see him.”
In March, the reggaeton artist announced he would be retiring from music after the release of his farewell album, “Legendaddy,” and accompanying tour.
As luck would have it, months before, Mendoza had met one of Daddy Yankee’s producers, Skillz, in Miami. As the concert date neared, she decided to reach out to him to see if he could help her grandma meet the artist. Mendoza said the producer promised he would try but couldn't guarantee anything. Hours before the concert, Mendoza said, he contacted her and helped make the unforgettable moment happen.
“My grandma didn’t know anything but I think a part of her, she was also manifesting this because before the concert she would always say, ‘Oh, yes, I’m gonna see him ... and I’m gonna hug him,’” Mendoza said. “I didn’t tell her anything because obviously I wanted this to be a surprise.”
Mami Flor said that ever since she heard his 2004 song “Gasolina,” she would call him her “novio.” “I would say, 'That’s my boyfriend, the one who sings ‘Gasolina,’” she laughed.
“He hugged me, he gave me a kiss,” Mami Flor recalled what happened when she finally met him, adding that he signed her framed photo that she took to the show. “He's humble and has a good heart.”
“He looks better than in the photos ... He has a great smile. He is beautiful. He’s like a son to me,” Mami Flor said, adding that she can’t believe “That me, an older woman who has admired him for so many years ... got to meet him in person, I never thought G
od would give me the opportunity.”
Mendoza called Daddy Yankee “so sweet” and “really kind.”
“He was just ... hyping her up because she explained to him like, ‘Oh, like, I have cancer and all of this,” she said, adding that the artist told her to have “fe en Dios,” faith in God.
It was an emotional moment for Mendoza, who said she couldn’t stop crying once they saw Daddy Yankee.
“I knew this was my grandma’s dream for so long and seeing everything happen was just amazing,” she said.
Mendoza added that Daddy Yankee told his crew to make sure Mami Flor was comfortable and in the front row.
“I’m just so grateful for him and for being so accommodating with us and my sister and my cousin ... I really appreciate everything that he did for us.”
Daddy Yankee did not respond to TODAY's request for comment on Sept. 26.
Mendoza said that Mami Flor recently underwent surgery due to her uterine cancer and will soon start treatments again. But being able to give her grandmother this opportunity was amazing.
“She’s a strong person, don’t get me wrong. She’s very strong and it’s amazing how she has got herself through all of this,” Mendoza said, adding, “I just wanted to make her happy ... in her last times.”
As for Mami Flor — who danced the night away at the concert as the video shows — she hopes she can meet him again in the future but is content with already having done so.
She also left him one last message in Spanish:
“Dimele a él que esta señora, Flor, le desea todo lo mejor. Como ya dejó la música, que todo lo bueno Dios se lo dé. Porque eso que él hizo, abrazar a esta vieja, enferma con cáncer y abrazarme, yo me sané. Que dios me lo bendiga.”
"Tell him that this lady, Flor, wishes him all the best. Since he left music, may God give him all the good things. Because what he did — hug this old woman, sick with cancer — and hug me, I was healed. God bless you.”
This article was originally published on TODAY.com