One Direction heart-throb Niall Horan melted the heart of a teenage superfan – by filming a YouTube greeting for her 16th birthday.
Melena Butera, 16, has been made the centre of an online campaign by sister Julianna, 20, who is desperate for her younger sibling to meet the band.
She started filming Melena in her bedroom, around the house and in the car constantly singing the Brit band’s songs at their home in Long Island, New York.
Juliana posted the videos on YouTube and was stunned to receive a personal video reply from singer Nial Horan.
The clip was filmed outdoors in a field with several runners in the background putting together the band’s next tour stage.
Nial said: “Your film was absolutely brilliant, we know that you a massive fan and all the boys send you their love.”
In the original video, Julianna interviews her sister on her vast knowledge of the five boys, surrounded by wall-to-wall posters in the youngster’s bedroom.
They hope that the band will allow Melena, who has Down’s Syndrome, to come and meet them in person for her landmark birthday, which is close to the band’s concert at Madison Square Garden on December 3rd.
“I would always play the songs ‘What Makes You Beautiful’ or ‘One Thing,’ then Melena started singing them,” Julianna said.
“The next thing I knew, she was watching videos of them on YouTube and singing along to every song. She’s just like every other 15-year-old who has a crush on this boy band.”
Julianna asks her sister in the video what she would do if she met the band, ‘I’d hug Harry, I’d hug Niall,’ Melena replies, kissing a poster of her favourite band member Niall.
Moira Power, 19, a friend of Julianna who was also involved in making the video, said the YouTube clip has been viewed over 30,000 times already.
She added: “We get tweets every day from people saying how nice they think it is that we are doing this but there have been a few negative ones too. We don’t let that stop us.”
One Direction, who shot to fame on The X Factor, have taken the States by storm since arriving for their first headlining tour in June this year.
Celebrity fans such as Katy Perry, Selena Gomez, Ashley Tinsdale and Taylor Swift are among just a few of the band’s American followers.
Melena’s friends and family can be found tweeting under the hashtag #HelpMelenaMeet1D