A Garth Brooks fan battling cancer was serenaded during the country music star’s concert over the weekend.
Willie Gilmore, 33, of Spokane, Wash., was right up against the stage when Brooks sat down in front of her, put his hand on her head and serenaded her with his hit “Standing Outside the Fire” during his encore.
“He sang to me, he touched my head, I have freshly new hair growing from finishing chemo,” Gilmore told InsideEdition.com. “At that moment, I could’ve died a happy woman.”
When she thought it couldn’t get any better, Brooks came back to her at the end of the song, and handed her his guitar.
“He told me that he loved me and that I was beautiful and to never stop fighting,” she said. “It felt like a dream. Like, did this actually happen? I look at the guitar and I can’t believe I have Garth Brooks’ guitar.”
Gilmore, who has been battling stage 2 breast cancer since the spring, said she has grown up listening to Brooks’ music.
When tickets to his show at the Spokane Arena went on sale, her husband surprised her with a pair in the upper tier of the venue.
On the day of the show, Gilmore brought a sign she made that read: “Living with breast cancer, dying to meet Garth.”
That’s when one of Brooks’ concert promoters handed her two tickets for spots right in front of the stage.
“Throughout the concert, Garth had acknowledged me,” she recalled fondly. “He told me I was gorgeous at one moment, and then when he came out onto the stage my hand was one of the first hands he grabbed.”
The guitar that she now plans to keep forever was just the cherry on top of the concert of a lifetime, she said.
“It’s priceless to me,” she said.
Gilmore said she’s now nearly done with radiation and doctors expect her to be in remission after.
“Honestly, I’ve always known I was going to be okay,” Gilmore said. “I’m just thankful for the outlook. I will never look back on my cancer journey and think of it as a bad thing.”