When the show got a letter about an inspirational 19-year-old named Jackie, everyone sprung to action. "Jackie is a straight-A student at Michigan State University. She's also a talented improv artist and a member of the college's comedy troupe," writes Peggy, a friend of Jackie's.
Jackie was forced to leave college after being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. Gilda's Club—a cancer support network formed in the honor of Saturday Night Live cast member Gilda Radner, who died of ovarian cancer in 1989—made one of her dreams come true with tickets to a taping of Saturday Night Live with host Justin Timberlake.
Still, Oprah and some very special friends from Saturday Night Live wanted to do more—and a secret plan was hatched. The first step: Get Jackie to Chicago. Jackie's shocked when Oprah reads Peggy's letter and invites her onstage.
The cast of Saturday Night Live also makes Jackie laugh, so Oprah has cast members Andy Samberg, Kristen Wiig and Jason Sudeikis standing by with a message.
They're checking in from New York City...or are they? "We're Skyping from here," Andy says.
Jackie's left nearly speechless. "Oh my!" she says.
Watch Kristen do her Suze Orman impression during break!
Brenden also revealed that NBA star Shaquille O'Neal was one of his heroes. "That's because I could look at him at eye level," he said.
When Shaq heard about Brenden, he wanted to surprise him with the offer of a lifetime—some one-on-one hang time. "We're going to fly you and your family to Phoenix to a game," Shaq said. "You'll hang out with me, we'll ride around, go shopping, go to the mall. We'll just have fun, because I'm 12 years old also."
After the game, Shaq gave Brenden a backstage tour of the team's training and locker rooms—not to mention shoes so new that they aren't even on the market!
See where Brenden and Shaq went after the game ended!
Next, Brenden and Shaq get into his souped up Shaq-mobile and head off to a five-star dinner. The next day, Brenden is fitted for a new custom wardrobe, designed by Shaq's personal tailor!
Since meeting Shaq, Brenden has learned to play basketball. "I just want you to do one thing," Shaq says. "Stay positive. Follow your dreams and just be happy, brother. You're tall for a reason. Trust me on this. The girls like tall guys."
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