Taylor Swift's absentee awards show date is cancer patient
While accepting her second consecutive entertainer of the year award to cap Sunday’s Academy of Country Music Awards ceremony, Taylor Swift probably left more than a few viewers scratching their heads at her remark from the stage about her date who couldn’t join her.
After thanking fans whose votes landed her the ACM’s top honor, she said, “We work hard and we try to give back. Recently, I have been aware of a different struggle that is going on. My date tonight was supposed to be a high school football player named Kevin McGuire, and he is not here. But I promised him I’d give him a shout-out. So Kevin and all your family and friends, thank you for wanting to take me to the ACMs.”
She was talking about McGuire, a Somerdale, N.J., 18-year-old who has leukemia. His sister, Victoria, had launched a Facebook page in February hoping to persuade Taylor to attend his high school prom.
Swift responded with a post that said, "Kevin, I'm so sorry but I won't be able to make it to your prom. But I was wondering, the ACM Awards are coming up. Would you be my date? Love, Taylor."
On Saturday, his sister posted an update that her brother was too ill to attend.
"I am so sorry to announce this devastating news, but Kevin was admitted to the hospital last night, and is unable to attend the Academy of Country Music Awards with Taylor Swift,” she wrote. “As we should all live by the motto 'live for today,' a cancer patient feels the impact of these words far too hard. We appreciate everything you have done for us, and we know you are all hurt from this too. ... As for Taylor, she is just as depressed as all of us to miss out on this date, and we are so thankful for the opportunity she has given us."
Following that announcement, Swift tweeted, "Just talked to Kevin McGuire. He's not well enough to join me at the ACMs. Please keep him in your thoughts. I'll make it up to you, Kevin!"
McGuire, who was out of the hospital by Sunday and watched the show with family members at an Applebee's restaurant, told the Cherry Hill, N.J. Courier-Post, "I was perfectly fine the last two months. I didn't [get] sick or even sneeze. Before my flight I got sick. Someone out there, somehow, didn't want me going." Following a week of chemotherapy, he explained, "I had a fever and low blood counts. They're still pretty low. I'm trying to stay away from people."
-- Randy Lewis
Photo: Taylor Swift with her second consecutive entertainer of the year award from the Academy of Country Music. Credit: Isaac Brekken / Associated Press.