Justin Bieber pays surprise visit to cancer-stricken girl

Pop superstar JUSTIN BIEBER made a cancer-stricken little girl's New Year one to remember by paying her a surprise visit ahead of his concert in Utah on Saturday (05Jan13).

Leukemia sufferer Millie Flamm, seven, had been hoping to catch the Baby hitmaker live in Salt Lake City that night but had to scrap her plans after falling seriously ill, so a family friend started an online campaign in a bid to get Bieber to come and see her.

Her father, Brad Flamm, tells the local ABC news station, "A friend posted a picture on Facebook, and it's been shared thousands of times."

The social networking campaign worked, and Bieber stopped by the Primary Children's Medical Center, where Flamm was being treated, on Saturday afternoon and delighted her by hugging, kissing and singing to her during the visit. He also treated fellow hospital patients with free tickets to his Salt Lake City show.

Bieber has become known for taking time out of his busy schedule to treat ailing fans to special meet and greets - he invited sick youngster Emma Routh backstage after a gig in Texas in October (12) and helped to cheer up another devoted fan, Avalanna Routh, as she battled a rare form of brain cancer. The six year old, who dubbed herself Mrs. Justin Bieber, died in September (12). The two girls were not related, despite sharing the same last name.

The Utah hospital visit is likely to have been a welcome distraction for Bieber after he was caught up in a smoking scandal.

Several photos of the superstar holding a roll-up cigarette at a party were published online on Friday (04Jan13), prompting the 18 year old to take to his Twitter.com account and post a cryptic message to his followers, which read: "Everyday growing and learning. trying to be better. u get knocked down, u get up... i see all of u. i hear all of u. i never want to let any of you down. i love u. and... thank u... like i said... 2013... new challenges. new doubters... Im ready. We are ready. see u all tomorrow and everyday after that."