By Amy McSweeney - April 24, 2023
It was the hottest ticket in town! Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour enchanted audiences at Raymond James Stadium during the sold out shows in Tampa. The 12-time Grammy award winner captivated the crowd during her three-hour performance. Among the Swifties in attendance were several very lucky patients from Moffitt Cancer Center’s Adolescent and Young Adult Program. Thanks to a generous donation by the Jimmie & Vivian Giles Family Foundation, Cole Thompson, Brooklyn Mathias and Eldiara Doucette had the best seats in the house for Thursday night’s opening show.
Cole Thompson was diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma when he was just 16. The now 19-year-old is participating in a clinical trial at Moffitt. Thompson was excited for the concert and thrilled to tell his best friend, Kayla, that he was taking her to the show.
“My favorite part was seeing the gorgeous outfits Taylor wore,” Thompson shared.
Swift’s 44 song set list and knockout performance left many speechless, including Brooklyn Mathias. The teen has faced B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia since she was 16. After spending her 18th birthday in the intensive care unit, the news of the tickets brought Mathias to tears. She was released from the hospital the night before the concert. Her parents decorated her wheelchair to help her celebrate her belated birthday in style.
“Everything about the concert was equally fantastic,” Mathias said. “From the beautiful suite with delicious food, to the awesome music and entertainment of Tay Tay, and meeting the other lovely families we shared the suite with. It was an unforgettable night!”
For 21-year-old Eldiara Doucette, being among the 70,000 attendees felt like a miracle. She was diagnosed with synovial sarcoma at 19, after three long years of seeking medical attention.
“My surgeon told me about the tickets right after he delivered the news that I was in remission for the second time,” Doucette said. “My head was spinning with all the excitement. It felt like I was coming full circle and able to enjoy all her songs again as an adult. Ten-year-old me would’ve never expected the concert, nor the cancer!”
Three young adults, three different cancer diagnoses, all coming together for the same fairy tale night making their wildest dreams come true.
Still buzzing from those 3 shows in Tampa!!! Thank you to the unforgettably epic crowds and to @aaron_dessner for coming out to play twice with me, we’ve been dreaming about that for so long!! So grateful for the memories we’re making on this tour🥲— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) April 16, 2023
📷: @OctavioJones @GettyImages pic.twitter.com/dLJElxGu9e