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Goddard teen meets Kenny Chesney

April 18, 2011|By Rebecca Gannon | KWCH 12 Eyewitness News

(GODDARD, Kan.) — It is a picture 14 year old Carrington Walker doesn't remember taking, but it's a moment she says she'll never forget.  Last week, the Goddard teen was pulled out of the crowd at the Kenny Chesney concert in Wichita.  The country star serenaded her with his hit 'Summertime'.  He didn't know he was sharing the stage with a special girl.

It started with something simple, and nice.  At a recent auction, some Kenny Chesney concert tickets were up for bid.  "My mom kept bidding on them," said Carrington.  "Somebody outbid her, and anonymously gave them to me."

And then, another nice thing happened, this time at the concert.  Carrington and her Aunt, Therese O'Neal, were in the second level of concert seats.  "Someone came over," said Carrington, "and asked if we wanted these bracelets to get to the stage.  And we said, okay, we'll try them out."

Her aunt Therese chimed in: "On the way down, I told Carrington that I couldn't promise anything.  I didn't know how well it would work, if it worked at all."

The people down at the stage level were a lot older, and a lot more wild, than what the two women were expecting.  "And there's nice, and not nice people down there," said Carrington.  However, there were two nice, tall, men.  "They helped me out, letting me through to get to the stage and stuff."

Therese added, "They kind of pushed some people out of the way for us, and we got up next to the stage."

Carrington is a short 14 year old, and was surrounded by adults.  "And the lady beside me was really nice," said the teenager.  Her Aunt Therese said "Another woman standing beside me said, 'I'll help you lift her up so she can see better'."  
Therese continued, "Just as we lifted Carrington up onto our shoulders, Kenny Chesney turned around, pointed to her, and just started walking over to her.  He gets over to her, he grabs her hand, and just yanks her on the stage with him."

"It was amazing," said the Goddard Middle School student.  "From pictures I've seen, I was like this" said Carrington, with her mouth hanging open.  "I couldn't, like, breathe at all.  I just kind of stood there."

And after Carrington got off the stage, the two had to leave, so Carrington could appreciate what just happened.  As they were leaving, two women stopped Carrington and Therese.  "And I said, no actually, I didn't get a picture.  And the two girls said, well, we did.  Let me get your email address."  And within a couple of days, images of Carrington and Chesney on the same stage arrived in Therese's inbox.

Therese chose her next words carefully.  "Carrington hasn't had the easiest life.  So for her to have this moment, for me to be there to share that with her, is unforgettable."

Carrington is the Kansas Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's 2011 Girl of the Year.  "She was diagnosed with acute lymphoma leukemia on September 4, 2008.  And she's had quite the battle the last few years, battling cancer.  So it was a very special moment for her."
     
Carrington says her new favorite Kenny Chesney song is 'Summertime'.  And when she got home at 11:30 Wednesday night, she said she couldn't wait to go to school the next day.  "I fell asleep that night with a smile on my face," she said with a smile Monday evening.

But she realizes she wouldn't have this experience without some nice acts others did. "Thank you so much," said Carrington.  "If it hadn't been at the that time, and we were right there, with those people, none of that would've happened."

Therese was also moved by the kindness of strangers.  "I was so moved by all the people who reached out to help us that night.  They didn't know Carrington was sick.  Kenny Chesney didn't know she's sick.  No one there knew.  Yet they were kind enough, and generous enough, to let us have their spot."

So both women wanted to thank everyone who helped them Wednesday.  "If it wouldn't have been for the help of the Wichita community, Carrington wouldn't have gotten this experience," said Therese, "and I wouldn't have gotten to share it with her."

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