Teenage Girl, 13, with Ewing's Sarcoma Meets Gordon Ramsay at Hell's Kitchen Restaurant

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When 13-year-old Sadie was asked what her dream was, she only had one wish: to meet Gordon Ramsay.

Sadie has been battling Ewing's sarcoma, which St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital defines as a cancerous tumor that grows in the bones or the soft tissue and can spread to other parts of the body.

The teenager’s mom, Misty Dutton, told TODAY that her daughter has loved cooking for years and has always enjoyed watching Ramsay’s various television shows both before and after her diagnosis. When the Children’s Dream Fund, an organization in West Central Florida that grants wishes to children between the ages of 3 and 21 who have life-threatening illnesses, asked Sadie what her interests were in the interview, all roads lead to the British chef.

“When she was diagnosed, she watched him a lot. We’d laugh at some of the stuff that he did. There was a lot of laughter because of that," Dutton told TODAY. "So it was a nine month journey, right? All of which revolved around Gordon and watching the show.”

Sadie, 13, can't get enough of chef Gordon Ramsey. (Courtesy Misty Dutton)
Sadie, 13, can't get enough of chef Gordon Ramsey. (Courtesy Misty Dutton)

Lisa Hawk, the program director for CDF, said that Sadie was a unique case for the organization. Hawk told TODAY that typically, children and teenagers interviewed by the organization discuss multiple interests, which gives CDF options and backups for which route to take. However, Sadie was completely focused on meeting Ramsay, leaving no room for a plan B.

Sadie’s meet-up with Ramsay was months in the making. Last year, Ramsay sent a video to Sadie where he said that he’d love to meet her and cook for her in the future.

Later, towards the end of one of her treatment cycles, one of her last chemotherapy treatments got postponed so she could meet Ramsay in Orlando in April. However, the plans ultimately fell through due to a conflict, leaving the CDF team to continue planning with Ramsay’s team.

"We knew that whatever happened, we had to keep it a secret because we didn't want (Sadie) to feel sad (in case of another cancellation," Hawk explained.

At last, all the pieces came together last weekend, giving everyone just a few short days to put the plan in action.

"I found out on Friday ... at like 4:00 in the afternoon. (Ramsey's team) said, ‘Okay, schedule is not changing,’ so basically we had just two days to plan the whole thing and surprise her," Hawk said.

This time, rather than meeting in her home state of Florida, Sadie and her family would instead meet Ramsay in Las Vegas at his restaurant Hell’s Kitchen, flying across the country just two days after Sadie had surgery to have a port removed. The question then became how could the family get Sadie to Las Vegas without spoiling the surprise? Well, it took a couple of white lies.

“We told Sadie that her dad (a former racecar driver) was doing an honorary lap at the Vegas racetrack and since Sadie had never flown and ... I said, ‘You know, I don’t want you flying if I’m not there and your dad said fine, you can come too,’" Dutton said. "Like, I made this whole to-do!"

The real reason the whole family was in Las Vegas was soon revealed after they arrived in Las Vegas on Friday, May 20. In the hotel room, Sadie was surprised with a framed photo of Ramsay that shared details of their weekend, reading, “Your dream is…coming true!!! Sadie, You are FINALLY meeting Gordon Ramsay at Hell’s Kitchen on Saturday!!”

In a video shared with TODAY of Sadie’s reaction to the news, the teenager doubled over onto the bed where the photo laid and began crying before proudly showing off the framed message to the camera.

The photo that Sadie received confirming that she was finally meeting Gordon Ramsey. (Courtesy Misty Dutton)
The photo that Sadie received confirming that she was finally meeting Gordon Ramsey. (Courtesy Misty Dutton)

Sadie had a fun-filled weekend in Las Vegas, which included a trip to the Hard Rock Cafe, brunch at Planet Hollywood and a view from the cockpit of the airplane, but nothing could top the moment she met her longtime hero.

The touching moment between Sadie and Ramsay that took place on Saturday, May 21 was captured on camera by her family as Ramsay entered the dining area of the restaurant to greet the teen before she burst into tears.

“Hello, I am so glad you’re here,” Ramsay told Sadie in the video before putting his arm around her shoulder. He thanked Sadie multiple times for being there before asking if he could give her a hug, to which she obliged. “It’s so good to see you. Thank you so much for coming."

Ramsay sat down with the family at their table, giving Sadie her own white chef’s jacket to take home. While at the table, both Dutton and Hawk described his sweet demeanor and interactions with Sadie, which included plenty of selfies, FaceTiming with two of his daughters — Holly, 22, and Tilly, 20 — filming a TikTok together, and making plans for Sadie to come to London in the future to have lunch with him and his family.

Ramsey and Sadie pose in front of her phone in a sweet snap. (Courtesy Misty Dutton)
Ramsey and Sadie pose in front of her phone in a sweet snap. (Courtesy Misty Dutton)

"I know you’ve come all the way from Florida, right? So, I’ve come all the way from London, so next time, I’ll come to Florida and then once I leave from Florida, you can come to London, okay?” Ramsey said in one video.

“You could tell that his personality and Sadie’s personality, they’re like two peas in a pod,” Dutton said of her daughter and Ramsay’s first meeting. “Once they met, that solidified it. I was like, ‘Oh yeah, these two are just nutheads.’ We were just sitting there watching, that was their thing and he made it about her. She even did a little interview on her TikTok with him. He made her feel at ease.”

Sadie’s experience with Ramsay was documented on CDF’s Instagram, which included a photo of Sadie with her mom, father, and stepmom as they posed with Ramsay, as well as two selfies of the duo from the restaurant.

Ramsay himself left a comment on the photo, recalling the fond memories he had of the day, writing, “@childrensdreamfund what an amazing young lady and I loved every minute, we faced timed the family in london we Tik Toked but most importantly we had a laugh, what an inspiration, lots of love and thank you for making my day Sadie your bestie new friend Gordon.”

The “MasterChef” star’s comment referring to Sadie as his “bestie” caused Dutton and her daughter to high-five so hard that one of Sadie’s acrylic nails flew off. But there was another comment on the post that stood out to Dutton that made sharing her family’s journey that much more worth it.

“It’s about the one kid that commented and said ‘Oh my god, that’s the same cancer I’m fighting right now. This gives me hope, you’re such an inspiration,’” Dutton said. “That’s what it’s about. You know, there were COVID restrictions when we were fighting this in the hospital so the family lounge was shut down and you didn’t have moms or the kids didn’t have the opportunity to talk to other kids. I think that people reach out because they need that. COVID or not, they need that inspiration, they need that hope. They need to know that there’s an after cancer.”

Sadie’s experience with CDF got her thinking about how she could continue to pay it forward to other children who may be experiencing the same, or a similar, situation she’s faced. After getting her own caricature done and realizing her love of art, Sadie was inspired to do the same for other children. When COVID-19 related volunteer restrictions are lifted, Sadie would love to go to the hospital and draw caricatures of the young patients so that they can color them in.

And of course, she’s looking forward to hopefully meeting Ramsay again and going head-to-head with the chef in a mystery box challenge!

Correction (May 31, 2022, 7:00 a.m.): Headlines in a previous version of this story misspelled the celebrity chef's last name. He is Gordon Ramsay, not Ramsey.

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