Sometimes, it’s hard to believe celebrities live in the same world we do. But just last week, Taylor Swift came to Phoenix to do something special. You see she has feelings just like you and was touched by a mothers blog. Her song Bad Blood prompted 11-year-old Naomi Oakes to embrace her fight against cancer after she found out at the end of June that she’d been diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia. On July 5, her loved ones posted a video (above) on YouTube telling Naomi’s story and revealing the fact that because her aggressive treatment involves her being hospitalized for six to nine months, she will not be able to attend Swift’s concert in Phoenix, Arizona, on Aug 18. The video asked for people to help get a message to Swift and ask her to post a #TeamNaomi message on Instagram.
Of course the “Shake It Off” singer went one better. Two days after the video was posted, Swift (who revealed in April that her mom was battling cancer) made a generous donation on a Go Fund Me page set up by Naomi’s uncle to raise money for her medical expenses.
It’s what we do when we see someone suffering. We reach out and try to fix what’s wrong with the world. There are several great foundations in Arizona that are helping kids every day. I have personally worked with them and know their founders. These are the best of the best, purest of the pure philanthropists, and true gems of Arizona.
Gold Rush Cure has an amazing Pot of Gold program, that helps kids cope with the challenges of living in a hospital. http://www.goldrushcure.org/pot-of-gold-program/
The Purple Society has built a network of the finest physicians and families in the world to help parent navigate the complex world of pediatric medicine. http://werpurple.org
And finally the Pepped Up team delivers smiles to kids who need it most. http://www.peppedup.org
If you are looking for an organization to support, I encourage you to choose one of these. If you know of someone in need, I encourage you to contact them. It’s amazing to see how their passion and connections can change the odds for kids with little hope.
Taylor Swift, could have just written a song and encouraged others to donate like she did, but she went even one step further and Co-Wrote a song based on Maya Thompson’s blog for her son Ronan who passed away from cancer. Royalties form this song will forever benefit Ronan Thompson’s Foundation!
Swift, until this week, had only ever performed the track once – at a September 2012 Stand Up to Cancer telethon. But on Monday Taylor invited Maya and the rest of her family to her Arizona concert, and performed the touching tribute fro just the second time in her life. Maya emphatically expressed how much the moment had meant to her, quoting a part of the song: “I still can’t believe tonight. I still can’t believe you did this. This will forever be one of the most special moments of my life. Thank you @taylorswift for your beautiful heart and for never forgetting my Ro. I love you to the moon and back.”
This was all so unexpected. Taylor is the most thoughtful person in the world and halfway through the concert I felt someone tap me on the shoulder. It was Taylor’s tour manager and she told me Taylor wanted to know if she could sing “Ronan” during the concert. I immediately burst into tears and said yes.