Tampa, Florida -- A Venice girl won the chance to see her idol pop-singer Selena Gomez, but she and her mother say the contest win was soured by some bullies.
The 8th grader from Venice, and probably the Tampa Bay area's biggest Selena Gomez fan, learned on Tuesday she won a 93.3 FLZ contest to see the pop star in concert at the Forum along with the chance to meet her.
"This is real -- it's not a dream," says 14-year-old Josie Patry.
Josie arrived at the Paris Salon in Tampa for a glam makeover before the big show.
PHOTOS: Venice girl wins contest to meet Selena Gomez
Josie suffers from neurofibromatosis, a genetic disorder that causes tumors to grow in her body. Josie says Selena's music gives her strength.
"I go through rough times with bullying at school and when I turn on her music it calms me down," she says.
Her favorite song is, Who says?
"It makes me feel beautiful."
Renee Patry, Josie's mom, turned to The Venice Scoop Facebook page for help with votes along with family and friends in Brockton, Massachusetts.
Josie had the third highest votes in the contest but the top two placeholders were disqualified because they did not live in the Tampa Bay area. That's when Josie's mother says her daughter was cyberbullied on Twitter by some of the losers.
Renee says the cyberbullying was serious enough they had to call the Venice Police Department and report the bullying to Twitter.
"It was really upsetting," says Josie.
93.3 FLZ's program director Tommy Chuck says they put a stop to the bullying on the station's Twitter page. Chuck says the station has rules in place to protect contestants from bullying.
"Bullying in any form is unacceptable. When we see it -- especially in a contest that is supposed to be fun and exciting -- we shut it down."
Renee says because the radio station called out the bullies on Twitter, one of the girls emailed Josie and apologized.
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