Taylor Swift Invited A Mother Whose Son Died Of Cancer To Her Concert And Sang A Surprise Song For Him
Maya Thompson told BuzzFeed: "Just when I think she cannot possibly get more incredible, she continuously finds ways to outdo herself and it all comes purely from her heart."
Three years ago Taylor Swift wrote and performed a song for Ronan, a 3-year-old boy who died of cancer.
Swift, until this week, had only ever performed the track once – at a September 2012 Stand Up to Cancer telethon.
It was then released as a single to raise funds for various cancer charities, including the Ronan Thompson Foundation.
But on Monday Taylor invited Maya and the rest of her family to her Arizona concert, where they live, and performed the touching tribute once more.
Maya shared a small video of the dedication on her Instagram page as she stood in the audience.
Maya told BuzzFeed that she wasn't expecting Taylor to sing the song until she got there and when she was told she burst into tears.
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.
During the concert Taylor addressed her own experience of dealing with cancer, after revealing her mother had been diagnosed with the disease earlier this year.
She said onstage:
I wouldn't know half as much as I know about childhood cancer and childhood cancer research if she hadn't shared her story about her son Ronan. The thing about childhood cancer is that it's really, really hard to talk about. And it's really not something that you bring up...but the fact that she brought it up, she had this blog called Rockstar Ronan and I would read it every night. And in it was this account of what it was like to watch cancer take over my life.
Since then, I've had cancer hit really close to me in my family. So because Maya's right there, I would like you to give her a round of applause, please. I just wanted to take a moment and try to play this song... I think because Maya's here tonight, I think she deserves it.
And the tribute clearly touched Maya, who attended a second concert in Arizona and shared numerous photos from the experience.
Maya told BuzzFeed:
It was surreal and I have permanent goosebumps. I really thought she would never perform that song again. I saw how hard it was for her to sing at Stand Up 2 Cancer the first time. The fact that she wanted to do it again for us felt so right and I am so honored that she chose to make Ronan her special guest for the night. Just when I think she cannot possibly get more incredible, she continuously finds ways to outdo herself and it all comes purely from her heart.
And Taylor's had such an impact on their lives, Maya even named her daughter Poppy thanks to her.
I have been graciously invited to Taylor's Speak Now World Tour, the Red Tour, and now the 1989 tour. During each tour she has spent heartfelt time with our family. I think she is officially my 12 year old twin boys' first crush and was the first girl to kiss them with her signature red lips. She is (also) the one who sealed the deal on naming my daughter, Poppy. It was just going to be a nickname at first, but Taylor told me I had to name her Poppy and that was it. Done deal.